Unsettling Discovery at Airbnb by Mother, 4 Teen Girls

A Florida woman’s stay at a Kentucky Airbnb took a chilling turn when she discovered unsettling signs of intrusion. Laura Schilling, who had traveled to Lexington for an equine competition with her daughter, three friends, and her mother, noticed something amiss upon their arrival at the rental property.

Schilling reported that the front door was wide open, though the glass storm door was closed. Despite feeling uneasy, she thoroughly inspected the house before allowing the girls to enter. This was Schilling’s first experience with Airbnb, a popular home-sharing service.

After spending time away from the property, the group returned to find the front door’s deadbolt unlocked, even though they had only used the garage to access the house. Later that night, one of the girls reported that her window was open. Schilling and her mother discovered that both windows in the room were unlocked and slightly ajar. A further check revealed that all the windows in the house were in a similar state, despite being certain they were closed when they left for dinner.

The situation escalated when Schilling spotted a car with tinted windows parked across the street. As she watched, the car started and drove away. Schilling immediately contacted the police, who arrived quickly but found no evidence of forced entry.

Schilling expressed her fear to the police that someone had intended to abduct the girls. The police advised the group to leave the Airbnb and find alternative accommodation if they felt unsafe. An officer stayed with them while they packed their belongings and left for a hotel.

Schilling contacted the Airbnb host, identified only as Rosanna, about the open door and windows. The host responded with surprise but did not follow up further. Schilling has reached out to Airbnb about the incident but has yet to receive a satisfactory response.

This incident adds to a growing list of unsettling experiences and crimes associated with home-sharing services. In Lexington alone, there have been 148 instances of breaking and entering in the first two months of 2024, according to state statistics. In 2023, a woman found a hidden camera in a Florida Airbnb, and an Airbnb host in Mississippi was caught attempting to extort a guest after taking a compromising security photo.