Davis Wahlman knew something was amiss in his house, but only investigated when he heard rustling upstairs. What he found sent shivers down his spine.
"I hear rummaging around above me, which I know is the attic so I'm like, 'That's kind of weird'," Mr Wahlman told Komo News, the media company he works for in the US.
Noticing the light was on in the office on Tuesday morning, Mr Wahlman found the door locked. He knocked. A woman responded.
"'Jimmy? Is that you, Jimmy?'" he said about the stranger who answered.
"I'm like 'No, it's not Jimmy. Who is this and why are you in my house?'"
Mr Wahlman said he called police before the woman - a stranger wearing tracksuit pants - opened the door.
"I'm like 'Who the heck are you?' Why are you in my house?'" said Mr Wahlman, who lives in Seattle, Washington state.
"And she just keeps kind of going: 'This is my house. I live here. I've been here for three days. Jimmy said I could live here, Jimmy said I could stay here'."
Mr Wahlman said he tried to keep the home invader inside until police arrived, but she got away.
He said it took police 18 minutes to arrive.
A Seattle Police spokesman said officers were dispatched within minutes.
Mr Wahlman told Komo News he doesn't know how the stranger managed to get into his home.
Although the night before the discovery, he noticed some lights were turned on and the flyscreen in the bathroom had been removed.
A fire escape ladder was hanging from the deck on Tuesday.
"To come into a house like this, in this neighbourhood, that's clearly being lived in - that's bold," Mr Wahlman, who has since changed all the locks, said.
Seattle Police detectives are reviewing the report.