When Tracy, a single mother-of-five, heard banging in her attic, she thought the worst it could be was an animal or a ghost.
But when she sent her older sons and nephew up to check, they found a man she had broken up with 12 years ago sleeping in her heating unit at her home in Rock Hill, Charlotte.
The 44-year-old had just been released from prison two weeks ago.
Tracy, who did not want to be named because her ex-boyfriend is still on the loose, said she last saw him a year ago when he did some odd jobs for her at her home and, though she had letters from him while he was in jail, she made it clear things were over.
She told the Charlotte Observer that his addiction to drugs and offenses for robbery - including her own truck - meant she was not interested and broke up with him for good 12 years ago.