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Jarrell woman said flooding damage to new home may be due to social media challenge

The Williamson County Sheriff's Office is investigating the incident as vandalism.

JARRELL, Texas — A Jarrell woman wants justice after vandals flooded her brand new home before she even moved in.

Jarrell is a city about 41 miles north of Austin.

The Williamson County Sheriff's Office is investigating the incident as vandalism, and Samantha Sandoval wants others to know that the crime may be due to a popular TikTok challenge.

She shared videos of soaking wet floors, sinks and bathtubs full of water with KVUE.

"It was devastating," she said.

They were taken on Sunday, the day before Sandoval, her husband and 9-year-son were supposed to close on her new home in Jarrell.

"The police were there when we got there. So, of course, we couldn't go in until they were finished with their investigation ... And then we were able to go in with one of the other construction supervisors, and that's when we saw water dripping from our ceiling in every single room ...So just the carpet is drenched. You walk on it and just squishes," Sandoval said.

She said someone broke into the home through an unlocked window, plugged up several sinks and bathtubs and left the water running.

The crime left her emotional.

"Lots of tears. I was just upset, and then it went from that to angry. We were just angry that the gentleman that called us on Sunday said there's a TikTok trend going around, speculation that it could be related because it was so prominent the week before in the schools in the area," Sandoval said.

Earlier this month, some Central Texas schools dealt with the effects of a TikTok challenge that encourages students to vandalize bathrooms. It was called the #bathroom challenge or #deviouslicks challenge.

Millie Najem is helping Sandoval find a temporary place to stay. She is a real estate agent with Austin Luxury Locating. She's also warning area agents and brokers about what happened.

"I think it helps dissipate these things before they blow up. If it can happen early on and these builders have time to put more security guards and things like that, cameras to help, I think that it will maybe make it stop before it gets so huge, like the milk carton challenge," Najem said.

Najem is now stopping by her buyers' properties every day, making sure nothing has happened.

In the meantime, Sandoval said it will take weeks for repairs to be completed.

"They're having to build the house again from the inside out," she said.

In a housing market that is already short on labor and supplies, Sandoval hopes this delay won't put a dent in her pocketbook.

KVUE has reached out to Sandoval's builder, Centex, for a comment. We have not heard back.

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