COUPLAND, Texas (AP) -- Workers tasked with emptying a Central Texas home set for foreclosure instead dragged away a 16-foot boat, a backhoe, wedding dress and love letters from a neighbor's barn.
The company, Ohio-based Safeguard Properties, acknowledged the mistake that occurred in broad daylight in December, but has yet to tell Mike and Janine Moors what happened to about $150,000 in possessions including family heirlooms and keepsakes.
"Are my things in storage somewhere?" Mike Moors, 53, an unemployed construction worker, said to the Austin American-Statesman (http://bit.ly/WQLNBF ). "Have they sold it at auction? How do I explain to my wife that she may never get her wedding dress back? There were many other heirlooms taken that are priceless."
Diane Roman Fusco, a company spokeswoman, said information about the case is confidential. Meanwhile, Mike and Janine Moors said they haven't been told anything either.
The couple doesn't understand how the mistake could happen. There is no house on the property where the barn sits about 35 miles northeast of Austin, and a fence separates the property from the neighbor's. The couple lives elsewhere in Taylor.
It wasn't until Mike Moors stopped to check on the property in January that he noticed someone had forced their way into the metal barn and cleaned it out.
Another neighbor, Joe Diaz, remembers that day. Three men in trucks spent the whole day and part of the night hauling things away. He hadn't seen Mike and Janine Moors in a while, but since it was happening during the day and seemed legitimate he didn't call police.
The Williamson County Sheriff's office, where the couple filed a report, agreed that while the situation wasn't right, it wasn't a crime. A detective told them it happens all the time.
Safeguard Properties says an insurance company is verifying the couple's claim.
But Mike and Janine Moors say money won't replace the irreplaceable.
A collection of ceramic figurines from Mike Moors' late aunt and a 100-year-old trunk that belonged to Janine Moors' grandfather were among the things taken.
A wedding reception book, their love letters and Janine Moors' wedding dress, which was inside a cedar chest, are all gone.
"A woman plans her whole life for her wedding day and choosing that dress," she said. "And when you don't have it anymore, it wants to make you cry."
Information from: Austin American-Statesman, http://www.statesman.com