Murrysville Squatter Speaks Out

MURRYSVILLE (KDKA) – A preliminary hearing was held Tuesday morning for a man who allegedly took down a “for sale” sign on a $625,000 Westmoreland County home and moved in.

Frederick Cooper Harris III, of Wilmerding, had toured the Murrysville home with a real estate agent on April 5.

According to police, Harris broke a garage door window, took down the “for sale” sign and moved in with a sleeping bag and groceries.

“I put my faith in God, that’s the real story,” Harris told reporters outside of court.

Trina Orlando: “Where’d you get the keys to the house?”

Harris: “Uh …courier.”

Reporter: “Did someone let you live there?”

Harris: “I talked to the real estate agent and told him I’d send the money over to the real estate office.”

Andy Sites, a general contractor, is a friend to the owners of the house. He was hired to keep an eye on the house until it was sold.

When he went to check on the house, he realized there was a car in the garage and someone was inside.

“He presented himself to me as some sort of pastor – he said, ‘I’m pastor so-and-so or something,’ and said he had permission from the real estate agent to stay there,” Sites said. “So I don’t know if he was just playing a scam game or I really don’t know what he was doing.”

Sites immediately called police. When they arrived, they saw the suspect’s personal belongings throughout the house. Harris was found hiding in a bathroom closet.

The realtor says she never gave the suspect a key and did not have them delivered through a courier.

The hearing was continued until May 10 to give Harris enough time to find an attorney and get a mental evaluation.


Squatter Found Living In $625K House
More Local News
More Westmoreland County News


Murrysville Police
Howard Hanna

  • Slyfox

    When this said ‘moved in’ I at least thought he moved into the residence with more than some groceries and a sleeping bag. This has some humor to it though!

  • Jeff

    He is a real life Axel Foley

  • Joyce Ruth

    At least he has good taste! Wonder what his food items were? Caviar???

  • Dan

    He obviously just thought OBAMA gave him the free house to live in!

    • Joan

      oh Dan LOL!!!! – Thats SO FUNNY! :-) Obama is such a ‘pat’ scapegoat for every situation! What DID you do before you had Obama to lay all the blame on – Obama must be VERY effective to have made so many changes so thoroughly and so quickly to our economy! Obama himself probably wishes he was so good at controlling so much as to create the economic dregs we have been left with! LOL! LOL! That the WHOLE WORLD has been left with! ROFLMAO!!!! If it wasnt so sad for all of us I’d be giggling all day at “YOU PEOPLE”. hehehehe….. not a clue do ya?! All the ‘free’ houses were gone long ago under other administrations! And its EVERYONES FAULT!!! HAHAHAHA!!!!!! snort giggle….hehe! oh what a safe little cocoon of thought you still keep yourself in after everything thats happened in the world – bless you and your sweet uneducated innocence!! wish it was true!

  • Don

    He claims this is what God wanted. umm, yea ok…

  • Dennis

    The crazy mofo picked the wrong state to start an adverse possession in…. I think a $600k house in Westmoreland would be sold in less than the statutory 21 year requirement…. less than 21, but probably 10 years minimum… a $600k home in Westmoreland County… who are these nutty owners.

    • Helen

      @Dennis – go to Murrysville some time. There’s areas where that amount is conservative. I clean a few houses there…some have actual wings…it’s very WOW

  • Kim

    Why does this warrant a mental evaluation?? MORE WASTED TAX DOLLARS????

    • vicki

      I agree with Kim. If he act crazy, talks crazy…then he’s crazy. Now that didn’t cost a dime did it???

  • Joan

    There is very much a story here – a story of our economy and of our dreams going dry. I admit entertaining thoughts myself about all these empty houses… offering 1/4 my tiny monthly fixed income for rent (before utilities) to whomever owns them will it awaits being put on the market again, or sold – to help successfully maintain it with my tested & worthy skills – to help with mortgage debt, property taxes and insurance. Watched over by a contractor INDEED. A cohort in speculation themselves.

    Being practically homeless myself these days, driving by all these empty homes in Western PA – especially all those McMansions so unwisely built – its one of the constant and cruelest of jokes played on people like me who are on the low edges of this economy through mischance yet having to endure rents high enough to BUY a house if you want to stay out of those neighborhoods where no one can OWN anything to care about and the landlords dont care to keep the places in good enough repair to care about them if you would want to. Yet no way to make a ‘sufficient’ down payment because of the cost of living, credit usury, housing, medical, and the wage disparencies.

    Building and buying then foreclosures for similar $600K McMansions were made possible because of the exploitation of consumer credit home loan possibilities that were created to help hard working people in my situation yet were further opened to those whom they were not meant – to be over-exploited by and to break our economy by mis-management and extreme usury to boot. That McMansion on land needlessly scoured over to build another unneeded plan of monstrosities could house several families in honest need of better living situations to succor them and probably better education environments as well for their children.

    And ALL OVER all this time there are more modest older empty house in good repair in this area just sitting there, on and off the multi-list…. Thinking to get what the DELIBERATELY over inflated real estate market left them priced at before? Unwilling to be sold now at a loss? Unwilling to be sold at the gasping chance the market will over inflate again for the rash speculators to make profits from like before? And leave the modest earner and consumer like myself still driving past, wishing in vain for a place of all their own again ….maybe THAT empty house there…or there?! A story indeed.

    • Dynomite

      Preach on, sister!

    • Joan

      oh – my fixed income is because after working 30 years in white collar jobs, paying all taxes, over educated, student loans and all debts paid in full – I now have chronic cancer these last 6 years. Have been on Social Security and Medicare because of severity of illness and not allowed to work except at my own pace if I want to keep the cancer quiet and all these treatments to work…

      Please please take away my well earned government medical insurance so they will stop offering ways for me to continue to live – with no insurance to keep me alive or home to succor me and allow for me to creatively contribute to my own upkeep and my community – WELL thats more than enough excuse to DIE! I’m now just a leech onto all those that are now apparently my betters. And – from the responses on this article – even worse I could be BLACK and getting government assistance! OH JUST KILL ME NOW! I NO LONGER DESERVE THE AMERICAN DREAM!!!! Those horrible taxes and government insurance I paid into all my life are keeping me alive under false pretenses ! Its evil! Evil I tell you! :-) Evil thats its the truth.

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