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."
Authorities warn that mudslides are still possible Friday even after a damaging storm moved through California, trapping people in floodwaters, triggering a debris flow that destroyed homes, and forcing residents to flee communities scorched by wildfires last year.
According to Cal Fire San Diego, five ambulances have been called to Donovan State Prison after multiple people were injured during a riot.
A person who may have been trying to use a paddle board to ride or cross the fast-moving currents of a rain-swollen Escondido runoff channel was found dead in the culvert Thursday afternoon.
A large oak tree fell on a home in Escondido, narrowly missing a pregnant woman and her husband who were sleeping.
There are several areas prone to flooding across San Diego County – including one in Bankers Hill where residents said rain storms have triggered massive mudslides.
Scattered showers are expected in San Diego County Friday following a powerful storm that brought record-setting rainfall, widespread flooding, mudslides and prompted school closures across the soaked region.
Social media has become a part of most people’s daily lives – including parents who don’t think twice about posting photos of their kids.
Weekend conditions are looking cool and wet. Stronger, colder system on Sunday will bring a chance of snow to San Diego mountains.
The intensity of Thursday’s storm prompted a flood warning, which is set to expire Friday morning, for the San Diego River and Santa Margarita River. A wind advisory, meanwhile, will remain in effect in the local mountains until 4 a.m. Saturday.