Squatter Lived in Attic of Arlington Church for 3 Years: Police - NBC4 Washington

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Squatter Lived in Attic of Arlington Church for 3 Years: Police



    Church Squatter's Secret Home Discovered

    News4's Pat Collins reports on a man who secretly lived in the attic of a church in Arlington. (Published Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015)

    A man lived undetected in the attic of a Virginia church for three years, according to Arlington County police.

    William Barker, 42, would attend Mass at St. Ann’s Catholic Church, and after people left, he would climb a ladder into the attic, where he slept, police said.

    "He would wait until the evening hours when there was less staff around, pop a ceiling tile, use a ladder, crawl up to his own space in the attic, pull the ladder up there and occupy it until the next morning," said Dustin Sternbeck of Arlington County police.

    The man kept a makeshift bed, clothing and other items hanging from the rafters, according to police.

    Police only discovered Barker's living area when an air-conditioning repairman heard something in the attic.

    "It was quite sad," the church's pastor said. "I was there the whole time when the police were called in, and when he came down, I was waiting to see his face, and there was a deep sadness that I felt there."

    Police arrested Barker Tuesday and charged him with trespassing. It wasn't immediately known if Barker had an attorney.