GREENSBORO, N.C. — A North Carolina college student said she thought a ghost was haunting her off-campus apartment until this past weekend when she found a man in her closet dressed in her clothes.
The incident happened at the Summit at the Edge Apartments, just steps from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
“I’ve been having, like, pieces of clothes missing. Like shirts and pants,” Maddie, a junior at the college, said. She told WGHP she was scared for her safety and declined to show her face on camera.
Items were disappearing and hand prints were left behind on the bathroom wall. It wasn’t until Saturday that she uncovered a mystery that she and her roommates thought was a ghost.
“I just hear rattling in my closet. It sounded like a raccoon in my closet,” Maddie said. “I’m like ‘Who’s there?’ And somebody answers me. He’s like, ‘Oh my name is Drew.’ I open the door and he’s in there, wearing all of my clothes. My socks, my shoes and he has a book bag full of my clothes.”
Police said the man was 30-year-old Andrew Swofford. He appeared in court on Monday via video conference from the Guilford County Jail.
Maddie said she called her boyfriend. As she calmly waited for help, she talked to Swofford to keep him distracted.
“He tries on my hat. He goes in the bathroom and looks in the mirror and then is like ‘You’re really pretty, can I give you a hug?’” she recalled. “But he never touched me.”
The big question the women are trying to get answered is how he got inside. They said their doors are always locked and they did not see any damage to them. But what really scared them was that this is not the first time strange men have been inside their apartment.
“There was two guys in the living room,” Maddie said.
That incident happened on Dec. 19, and the women alerted the leasing office.
An employee confirmed they changed the locks at that time but did not file a police report. WGHP was told that was standard protocol.
But Maddie and her roommate said they’ve had enough.
“Last night I did not feel safe. I slept with my roommate in her bed,” she said. “I can’t stay here. My closet, it stinks. Every time I go in [my room] there’s a bad vibe. I’m just ready to leave.”
Burkely Communities, the property management company, told WGHP they are going through all of the details and trying to figure out how something like this happened.
Swofford was jailed in Guilford County under a $26,000 bond on 14 felony charges including larceny and identity theft.