'I saw his shadow on the wall': Bell Island woman recounts waking up to intruder in home

A 71-year-old woman says she doesn't really get nervous about too many things, but finding someone in her hallway before dawn Saturday morning is one of them.

Audrey French says she isn't getting much sleep since the intrusion

Audrey French of Bell Island stands in her hallway, the same place she saw an intruder standing early Saturday morning. (Fred Hutton/CBC)

A woman is sharing her harrowing experience of waking up to find an intruder in her Bell Island home early Saturday —and how it's changed her.

"For some reason I woke up and I seen his shadow on the wall," says Audrey French, who is 71 and lives alone.

"I just got out of bed and … he was standing there in the hall, but he had his back to me. And when he heard me, he just went on over the stairs and out the door."

French said she followed the person and saw them get into a vehicle that was waiting near some bushes before the car drove away.

"I was in shock, I really was," French told CBC News at her home Monday. 

French says her MP3 player was stolen from her desk in her bedroom. It was the intruder leaving her room that woke her up. (Eddy Kennedy/CBC)

She said her purse, with her wallet inside, was stolen, and so was her cellphone and MP3 player. 

"It's an uneasy feeling, I tell you … because even when I'm in the house now, I'm looking around," French said.

RCMP confirmed officers responded to a report of a break and enter and that several items were taken. The investigation is continuing. 

A new deadbolt, but still nervous

French said the intruder "took the knob right off the door" and did the same thing to the shed, too. 

"My son came over and put a deadbolt on the door and a new knob … even last night I went down and I checked it four or five times to make sure that it was locked," she said. 

"These people, they really don't care … if they wants to get in, they're going to get in, no matter what."

French says her son installed a new deadbolt, but she still finds herself checking it three or four times in the evening. (Eddy Kennedy/CBC)

French spent the day replacing important cards that were in her wallet, like her bank, social insurance and MCP cards.

She said she has lots of friends looking out for her and insisted she will "bounce back" — but can't shake the experience.

"This was really a quiet place one time. There was nothing going on, lovely little community, but not now. Oh my god, no," French said. 

"You're afraid to go to bed, actually, because you don't know what you're going to wake up to."

With files from Fred Hutton