KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WDAF) — You might want to check the deed to your home if you live in Missouri. A Kansas City family was shocked to learn they no longer owned their home.
“I mean it was our parents’ house,” Linda Peak said, referring to a house at 8303 Brooklyn Avenue that was left to her and her siblings after their parents died. .
Last November, the siblings found a buyer for the $45,000 home. But before the sale could be completed, a title company discovered that the house had already been sold to someone else.
In October, a man the family had never met filed a deed in the Jackson County Courthouse claiming he bought the house from them.
“It’s all falsified information,” Peak’s sister Crystal Goff said. “He stole our house.
Robbing a house is surprisingly easy in Missouri. It’s such a big deal that several years ago the Missouri legislature made it a felony.
The name on the deed was Ovonjae Tatium, and court records show he had previous convictions for theft and drunk driving. He also has a warrant for his arrest for failing to show up to court for impaired driving.
Peak and his sister reported Tatium to Kansas City police.
“We found out he had five or six more he had (purchased) on the same day,” she said.
Peak’s name is misspelled on the deed he filed claiming to own Peak and Goff’s house. It is listed as a park.
“I would never misspell my name,” she said, shaking her head in disbelief.
The Kansas City address on the deed where Tatium claims to live, 6619 Indiana Avenue, does not exist.
Tatium also claimed a home at 7129 Tracy Avenue, which he says was sold to him by Marcellous Adams, according to property records. But Adams told WDAF he never sold the house in Tatium. Adams said he’s owned it for years and used it as a rental property. He reported the theft to the police.
Tatium also claimed to have purchased a home at 5911 The Paseo from a company called Powered Flight LLC. But no such company is registered with the office of the Missouri Secretary of State. The deed listed the company’s address as Harrison, Missouri. There is no town called Harrison in Missouri.
Another house that Tatium has claimed stands out as an eyesore on a street of well-kept houses. A neighbour, who did not want to be identified, said the last owner of the house died several years ago. Property records show Tatium bought the house last year from Thomas Miles, a man who has been accused of stealing from homes on several occasions.
WDAF has repeatedly tried to find Tatium, visiting every address he listed and speaking to his father, with whom he shares a name. The father said he hadn’t spoken to his son in months, but promised to find him.
Meanwhile, Peak and his sister have hired a lawyer to help them prove in court that they are the true owners of their house.
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