SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) — While a Shelltown couple went on vacation, they put their trust in a 19-year-old pet sitter at home.
But as of Monday night, one of their cats was missing and they were trying to figure out what went wrong.
Cell phone video shows John and Carolina Quayle being greeted by their dog Nina after coming home from a 3-week trip to Brazil.
The couple, who were so happy to see their dog, also couldn’t wait to see their three cats
But their excitement quickly turned to heartbreak after they realized their youngest cat Marla was missing
"I was like 'John, I can’t find Marla' [and] we stopped absolutely everything," said Carolina. "We tore everything apart.
"Your heart is racing. It’s like, 'this can’t possibly be happening, because I did everything right. I made a point of hiring someone we trusted.'"
The couple had hired the daughter of a friend as their pet sitter.
"In the past, we had gone through certain apps and were not happy with those people," said Carolina.
However, she says neighbors told them their pet sitter threw a party on New Year’s Eve.
As the couple looked around their home, they noticed cigarette butts, damage to their furniture, a stain on the doorframe of their bathroom and alcohol was missing.
News 8 contacted the pet sitter who says she only had four friends over and absolutely denies taking any of their alcohol.
She says she told the couple, while they were away, that Marla rarely came out of her hiding places.
Carolina says she’s less concerned about blaming anyone at this point and all she wants is to find Marla.
"I don’t know if she’s in a ditch right now – hungry, cold, hurt," said Carolina.
They blanketed the neighborhood with fliers and knocked on all of their neighbors' doors, but no luck.
Carolina's advice to not end up in her situation is:
"Don’t just trust people’s word - do your background [check], ask multiple people, especially if someone is young," she said. "They may have a good heart, but may not have the experience for it."
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