Velma Kellen, 73-Year-Old Woman, Learns Stranger Was Living In Crawl Space, Maybe Smoking Marijuana (VIDEO)

01/09/2013 02:40 pm ET

A retired Washington state woman got some unexpected news after calling a repairman to fix what she believed was a broken furnace.

The repairman told Velma Kellen, 73, that he was able fix the air ducts that seemed to be causing the problem, but he also told her that someone had been living underneath her house. The stranger apparently cut through the duct to get some of the heat.

"I was just amazed when he came in and told me," Kellen told KATU. "I couldn't believe it. I thought, golly sakes."

Kellen, a former caregiver, believes the crafty -- and apparently cold -- squatter came and went through her backyard, since she noticed the gate was often mysteriously unlatched, King 5 reports.

And then, there was the suspicious smell that often wafted through the home.

"I can't say marijuana," Kellen told King 5. "I don't know what marijuana smells like, but it was worse than cigarettes."

Yelm's veteran police chief Todd Stancil told the station he had never heard of a similar case in the small town, but said the news was "pretty concerning for most people who have crawl spaces."

In September, a woman in South Carolina was similarly shocked to discover an ex-boyfriend living in her attic. The single mother of five discovered the lurker after hearing bumping noises coming from above her bedroom ceiling.

Her old flame, whom she hadn't seen in 12 years, reportedly had been sleeping in her heating unit, spying on her through the vents and peeing in old Sonic cups.

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