Family stunned to hear babysitter of five years is a man

A Mid-South family is in shock tonight.

"I couldn't believe it. I just couldn't believe it," Sarah Garner said.

Garner found out the friend that lived with her and her boyfriend Robert Smith for five years, the friend who took care of their children, was not who she said she was."

"I trusted her with my life, and to find out she didn't trust you to be honest about anything," Smith said.

Garner trusted Erika Sadowski, who was born Edward Sadowski.

He's a man living as a woman, a fact Sarah and Robert found out after Erika was charged with kidnapping their children.

"No matter how much you think you know someone, you don't," Smith said.

They asked Sadowski to move in with them when they moved to Dyersburg. For five years they say everything was fine. "She had a great charisma with children that was unbelievable," Garner said.

The 59-year-old was retired from the Air Force, liked to go to the library, and paid his own expenses. Sarah and Robert say they never suspected Erika was a man.

"I've seen women who look like men before--watch Maury," Sarah said.

They had no idea Erika would be accused of taking their kids, and no idea he would shatter their trust. "I want to know why he took my kids way out there, and why did he lie?" Garner asked.

Those questions may never be answered. Investigators say Sadowski has not told them why he took the children or lied about his gender.

Sadowski is charged with kidnapping and is being held on $100,000 bond. The children were unharmed.