Robert Swift was drafted 12th overall by the Seattle Supersonics in 2004 out of high school, but only played in a total of 97 games over four injury-filled seasons in the league. Now Swift is making headlines for a much darker reason: When his home in Washington State was foreclosed upon, Swift left behind an absolute mess.
BuzzFeed spoke with Jessica Ko-Dalzell, one of the house’s owners. She described the scene that she and her husband found, and have been dealing with, since Swift moved out and they began to try to reclaim the house, which they bought last year at auction.
We purchased the home at auction, but right now I wouldn’t call it a home — it’s more just a house. My husband and I got married in September, and this is our first purchased home together. Since we got it at auction, we obviously couldn’t see the inside, but we figured it couldn’t be that bad — it was built in 2000 and originally sold for more than a million. We figured it was in good upkeep, just with some trash around.
First off, the lawn guy said he didn’t think they ever raked the leaves, and all the grass under them is dead. When we first stepped into the house, the stench was just awful; I’m 5 feet 4 inches, and there were piles of garbage as tall as me in the garage. And this is a big garage, probably five cars, and it seemed like they just opened the door of the house and threw the kitchen garbage in here. They’ve never had garbage service. We’ve cleared out four Dumpsters of stuff so far, and there’s still a bit more.
It was rancid: Flies and maggots everywhere. This is our third day, following two 10-hour days of five or six people working, not including the lawn guys, and we’re still clearing stuff out.
The inside was pretty nasty too. The master bedroom was the worst-smelling room — I don’t know if he slept there or not, but it was disgusting. We found a five-gallon jug of piss sitting in the corner of the room. The bathroom was disgusting, the toilets were disgusting. One of the sinks had a towel over it and it was like straight out of a horror movie: When we took away the towel, flies flew out, and the sink was filled with maggots. It turned out that someone had vomited into the sink and didn’t want to clean it up, so they just covered it in a towel.
The back deck was covered in dog crap — it looked like an elephant had had diarrhea. Robert apparently had two great danes, and they just let them crap, then shoveled it into a pile on the wooden deck. But because it rains so much here, it eventually just turned liquidy and spread to cover the entire deck.
Every surface of the house needs to be touched and cleaned and scrubbed down. I’m not sure whether we’ll keep the appliances or not, which are really nice appliances, stainless steel, but they’d been using the stove as a grill — they just threw a wire rack on top of it and started grilling food. The dishwasher was being held closed with duct tape. There was no heat, and it smells like they sat in the house and just smoked — you can smell it in the walls. We have to change all the toilets, which are all disgusting. And they had kid stuff in there, which is so sad to me; I would’ve never let a child live in that situation. My husband is saying he never wants to eat off those countertops.
Robert really liked his guns and his firearms. We found so many bullets, bullet casings, slugs — like, at least 100–200 loose bullets, boxes three-quarters full of bullets. I think they were using one of their rooms in the basement as a shooting range. They were just shooting bullets into the foundation of their house, and we’ll probably have to see if we can get the support beams switched out, because some of them are pretty frayed. There was also a mannequin torso or something that they were shooting at that had holes in it. The furnace runs on gas, and it’s right near where they were shooting, and I’m sure there are gas lines in the ceiling for the stove; I’m sure they got ricochets once in a while. That was the weirdest thing to me. He left a ton of BB guns and stuff — I’m guessing he took most of the real guns.
There were also cars left here. He left an El Camino that had no engine, and there were two cars left in the cul-de-sac. When we arrived, the sheriff came up and asked if it was our car, and he ran the plates — the tow guy absolutely loved us, because it turned out that a big black Nissan Titan, which must have been Robert’s truck, was on the repossession list, so he got an extra 500 bucks for that. The sheriff and the other residents have been really nice to us — I think they’re probably excited that a new owner might take a little better care of it.
As told to Kevin Lincoln.