A mum "driven to the point of insanity" after undercover police officers dug up her garden in search for a body is in hiding in East Yorkshire.
Amanda Kennedy left her Southport home after she discovered Merseyside Police officers had posed as drainage workers in their search for a 'body'.
The force said the officers went undercover to "protect" her, but the mum said her family is now traumatised and effectively living in hiding.
Amanda, who now lives near Beverley, told the Liverpool Echo she is now living in fear that there was more to the investigation than she has been told.
"It is like a tragic-comedy and we are the stars of it," she said. "All I have ever wanted to do is bring my kids up and bother nobody."
In response to her concerns, Merseyside Police acknowledged officers searched her garden and confirmed the investigation "was connected to previous residents".
It was December 2010 when Amanda moved from Ireland with her husband and three boys and relocated near to her parents in Southport to their rented Hawthorne Grove home.
Just weeks later, the property became the centre of a major operation that no-one - apart from the force - knew about.
To begin with, the family were called and told drainage issues meant workmen needed access to the garden.
After speaking to their landlord, they agreed for this to happen.
At the time, Amanda was recovering from a fall and was house-bound. So it was only weeks later that she saw the work taking place.
But as the workmen quizzed her over her personal life, she became increasingly suspicious, which led to the 42-year-old challenging the strangers in her home - accusing them of being undercover police.
She was told officers had been working on a body search and her suspicions proved to be correct.
Merseyside Police said Amanda signed a pocket notebook to say she was "satisfied" with her dealings with police and that staff were at the home for one day.
Yet Amanda, who insists she has no issue with the behaviour of officers, disputes signing a notebook and said she had always hoped for further information that never came.
The mum told her son's school about what happened as she was concerned over the impact the investigation may have had on them.
However, she believes a combination of her strange story and the injuries she had sustained through her fall led to her family coming to the attention of social services.
Scared by what she believed was the twin threat of having her children taken from her and having been at the centre of a police operation she had little explanation for, Amanda and her husband fled Merseyside and effectively went into hiding with their youngsters.
Despite her worries, she maintained there could be a simple explanation for what happened - that when she was moving in someone may have seen a whale bone owned by her archaeologist partner and mistaken it for a human body part.
"All I wanted was someone to say I had over-reacted and ask us to come back so they could give an explanation," she said.
"I was hoping I had over-reacted, I was out of my mind."
But when she asked solicitors to try and get an explanation, events took a further twist.
Months after the investigation, a legal letter on behalf of then force chief constable Jon Murphy, seen by the Liverpool Echo, dramatically undermined the whale bone theory.
It said: "Our clients [Merseyside Police] received a report from a previous tenant stating that she had seen a male bring a bag into her then home, which contained a body.
"She stated that she believed the male had buried the body in the garden.
"Our clients did not wish to cause your client or the landlord distress, nor did they wish to notify the alleged offender, if he still lived in the area.
"As such, they spoke to the landlord of the property to establish that no major works had been undertaken to the garden and thereafter posed as drainage workers to try and investigate this extremely serious allegation.
"It is clear that our clients were trying to protect Ms Kennedy and were not acting maliciously."
But this offered little closure to the mum who found the line that she had been lied to by officers "trying to protect" her as particularly chilling.
With no further details, it led to her fearing police may have had intelligence that she too was under threat.
Amanda, who was seeking to work in nursing before her fall, refused a settlement offer of £500 for trespassing.
She said she was breaking her silence nine years later in the hope it would lead to more answers.
Amanda added: "I think someone made a horrible mistake and they don't want to admit it. As a result they have driven us to the point of insanity for no reason."
What police said
In response Merseyside Police confirmed officers searched the garden of a home in Hawthorne Grove "in response to intelligence in relation to a suspected body being buried".
The force said the investigation "was connected to previous residents" and took less than a day to complete.
No body was found and documents related to the probe have since been destroyed due to laws over the length of time records can be kept.
A spokesman said: "An offer was made via Civil Litigation to the value of £500 for trespassing, but this was not responded to and has now timed out under the Limitation Act.
"No further contact was received by the occupant or solicitors in respect of this matter.
"A separate complaint was also received by our Professional Standards Unit but this was exempted by the Independent Office of Police Conduct under their regulations. This too has now been filed."
The investigation by IOPC, the police watchdog, found there was no case to answer.