Cleanup begins at soldier's damaged home in New Port Richey - WFLA News Channel 8

Cleanup begins at soldier's damaged home in New Port Richey

Posted: Updated:
A group of volunteers showed up Saturday morning to begin the cleanup process. A group of volunteers showed up Saturday morning to begin the cleanup process.
A dumpster that was dropped off on Friday was nearly full within an hour. A dumpster that was dropped off on Friday was nearly full within an hour.
The squatters vacated the home of Michael Sharkey earlier this week. The squatters vacated the home of Michael Sharkey earlier this week.
NEW PORT RICHEY, FL (WFLA) - Donations and volunteers poured in Friday night to help a soldier who fought to get his New Port Richey home back from squatters.

Veterans Warriors plan a massive cleanup and renovation at the residence on Westend Ave. The major lifting is expected to happen in the next couple of weeks.

Don’t miss out on the day’s top Facebook conversations http://on.fb.me/18y81Cl

Saturday morning a group of veterans and other volunteers met at the home to begin the cleanup process. The quickly picked up debris strewn about the yard and inside the home and placed it in a dumpster that was dropped off on Friday.

Army Specialist Michael Sharkey is stationed on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. That’s where he was when a friend informed him that someone was living inside his home.

He’s overwhelmed at the outpouring of support he’s received from the community after 8 On Your Side told the story.

“You have my utmost gratitude,” Sharkey said. “That’s for everybody that’s done everything.”

Sharkey is a mechanic that works on Chinook helicopters. As much as he wanted to he was unable to fly home when he first heard about the squatters.

“The friend of mine went by the house a couple of times, saw it was vacant and had the yard taken care of,” he recalled. “Then she went by another time and said there’s people living in your house, did you rent it? And I said no; the house is supposed to be empty. There’s no power, the house is supposed to be empty.”

Julio Ortiz and his girlfriend – who both have extensive criminal backgrounds – had moved in. A few days ago they packed up their belongings and left the home for good.

  • Most Viewed Stories on WFLA.com

  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.