Woman Said Family Fell Prey to Bad Craigslist Ad
EDINBURG - A woman said she and her husband spent the last of their money on a trailer they later discovered was infested with bees.
Kimberly Smith and her husband recently moved to the Rio Grande Valley from Dayton, Texas. They are in search of a fresh start and better life. Smith is currently pregnant and a mother of two. She said online she found what she thought was an answer to her prayers.
"Craigslist, there was an ad on there for a RV trailer motor home, two for the price of one. I contacted the man on there, and he told me all was well. Brand-new this. Brand-new that. Brand-new this. … I needed a house for my kids. I paid the man $950," Smith said.
She told CHANNEL 5 NEWS when she and her husband saw the trailers, they were unable to check the electricity or water, because the trailers weren't connected to a source. They trusted what the salesman told her. Smith and her husband towed the trailers to an RV park and spent the night in a motel. When they returned, they found a unpleasant surprise.
"They had yellow tape around my trailer, yellow fire hazard tape, because they were swarming. They were coming out the windows, out the door. People were waving their hands, fighting bees. People across the street, next door. It was infested. You couldn't even come in here, because when you come in here, it was just pure bees," Smith said.
Smith told us they eventually entered the trailer and found a large bee hive under the bed. The entire family continues to get stung. They later discovered the water in the RV doesn't work. The family runs a water hose through the window to shower and wash dishes. Also, among other issues, the roofs leak. "My refrigerator, he said was working. It doesn't work. I'm having to throw away food every day or pinch by to get food," Smith said.
She explained the person who sold her the trailers is not answering her calls. She reached out to Craigslist and was told since the seller deleted the ad, she can't file a complaint. She said she and her family are desperate for help. CHANNEL 5 NEWS spoke to Mari Gallegos at the Hidalgo County Community Service Agency. She told us her office may be able to help, by seeing what services the family is eligible for.
"If we don't have that service available, we could always send them to one of our partnership agencies that could help them with any other service that we don't offer," Gallegos said.
The family said they look forward to going to the agency next week to see what help they can receive. Smith said she will think twice next time she purchases an item online.