A COUPLE say their lives have been turned upside down after their home was ransacked the day their ­lodger disappeared.

A COUPLE say their lives have been turned upside down after their home was ransacked the day their ­lodger disappeared.

Huntingdon nurse Melanie Bardell arrived home after a 13-hour shift to discover £6,000 of items gone from the house she shares with partner Alberto Franceschetti.

Among them is jewellery which belonged to Miss Bardell’s late sister and mother-in-law.

Thousands of family photographs have been lost because a camera and two laptops were taken from the Wellsfield address along with games consoles.

Even a penny jar ­containing £200 of spending money for a ­holiday was stripped of the ­silver and gold coins, and a badge ­presented to Miss Bardell after she qualified as a nurse is missing.

Because the suspected burglar was their lodger, insurers have refused to cover the cost of the theft, leaving Miss Bardell, 46, and Mr Franceschetti, 38, ­thousands of pounds out of pocket.

Miss Bardell said: “It is the ­jewellery that has hit us extremely hard. The electrical goods can all be replaced.

“A ring my mum gave me when I married is gone. It is so distinctive and it cannot ever be replaced.

“Even my son’s Marc Ecko watch, which he left here a few weeks ago, was stolen in its box and that was £300.

“Two laptops are gone. My ­laptop has got thousands of ­pictures and they are lost. ­Pictures of my grandchildren – they are so precious.

“Everything that was worth anything was taken and even my knicker drawer was gone through. It is as though our house has been raped.”

Police have confirmed they wish to speak to the couple’s former lodger ­Sentis Joaevicana in ­connection with the incident, which ­happened on October 18.

The 20-year-old is blond with blue eyes, about 5ft 8in, of ­slender build, and speaks with an East European accent.

He moved in three weeks ago after answering an advertisement for a room to rent.

Miss Bardell, who works for Four Seasons Health Care, has distributed leaflets with Mr ­Joaevicana’s photograph, appealing for information of his whereabouts.

She said: “He was like any 20-year-old. He was very pleasant. He even used to make me dinner when I came in late, and watered our front garden.

“That day, I left the house about 7.30am and my other half left about 9am. I walked into the house that night and it was a mess.

“We have been through so much as a family and it was only the week before that we said ‘We are on the up again.’

“The insurance company has said because he was a keyholder we are not covered for the theft, which is a double-whammy. It has been a very hard and ­expensive lesson to learn.”

A Cambridgeshire police­ ­spokesman said: “All Miss Bardell’s belongings were ­missing and Mr Joaevicana’s room had been emptied of his belongings.”

INFORMATION: Anyone with information should call police on 0345 456 456 4 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.