Police: investigating 'squatter' after family is victim of bogus lease, says real homeowner is victim too

There are new details involving the Detroit family who claimed they were facing eviction due to a bogus lease. As of Thursday night -- Detroit Police said they're investigating two aspects to determine what happened with the Bohanen family while also trying to help them find a permanent home.

The Bohanen family said they had paid their rent on time to a woman named Tamika Johnson who they believed owned the house on Littleton street.

Then, someone claiming to be the real homeowner called the Detroit Police Department. Police tell FOX 2 that this is a case of squatting but nobody has been evicted.

"This is not an eviction, this is a case that we're working with a complaint of a squatter," said Det. Listine Gilbert, Detroit police. "We are working with the homeowner and the occupant. We have a victim, the owner of the property, that would like possession at this time."

Detective Gilbert said there are two victims in this story - the Bohanen family and the rightful owners of the home.

"You have the owner, that is the actual owner of the property, then you have the individual who is the occupant that has had monetary assets removed from her from someone that is not the owner. Technically, yes, she is a victim. With the investigation taking place, you have to look at all sides. You have to look at everything," Gilbert said.

Police say they are working on finding housing for the Bohanen family, while the investigation continues.

Gilbert said the police department is working with the family to investigate possible fraud.

"We're going to investigate all parts," Gilbert said.

David Bowser, representing the mayor's office, was also present and said that a team of case managers would be assigned to the family.

"With these kinds of situations, it's not just about housing. There's also other household areas that we need to be addressing. What this case manager is going to do is throughout the time the family is at the house, and even afterwards, we're going to be connecting them to community resources around housing, around employment, food, whatever they need," Bowser said.

He also said they would help provide permanent housing to the family and connect them to a program to help meet their needs. The city is also helping by offering a hotel stay and transitional housing - if they need it, Bowser said.

"It's not just about the housing. It's about the other issues that may be happening inside the family," he said. "We're going to have a conversation with a family to figure out what their specific needs are."

Bowser said the city has resources available to help with rent as part of the COVID19 Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA) program.

Detective Gilbert said that this was not an eviction, but is a criminal investigation.

"This is not a case where anyone has been put on the street," Gilbert said.

When contacted Friday morning, Detroit Police said the family was still in the home and they're working to find them another place.

A previous version of this story stated that the family had been removed from the home which was not true and was never stated by police. We regret this mistake.