Navy Vet Was Dead Almost 3 Years Before His Body Was Discovered By Chance In His Texas Apartment

Discussion in 'News - Breaking News & Political Forum' started by 1QTPie, Nov 22, 2019.

  1. 1QTPie

    1QTPie Elder Sim

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    Doris Stevens hadn't heard from her son Ronald Wayne White since 2016 and said she grew concerned when he didn't answer her phone call on his birthday in April 2017

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    The family of a retired Navy chief has been left heartbroken and confused after his body was discovered on the floor of his Texas apartment, close to three years after he had died.

    Doris Stevens is struggling to come to terms with the mysterious death of her son Ronald Wayne White, who she said had been missing since 2016, WFAA reports.

    “I can’t hardly cope with it, to be honest with you,” she told the outlet. “I can’t get past three years. … I can’t hardly deal with it.”

    Last week, White’s body was found on the kitchen floor of his DeSoto Town Center apartment by maintenance workers looking to solve a water issue, an officer with the DeSoto Police Department confirms to PEOPLE.

    “Maintenance men were trying to get into the apartment because they noticed that the water usage was non-existent for some time, so they suspected that there was some type of issue with the water main,” the officer explains.

    When the workers attempted to enter the residence, the officer says they noticed it was dead-bolted from the inside.

    “They forced entry into the apartment and that’s when they found the deceased in his kitchen on the floor,” the officer continues, adding that they immediately called the police who arrived at the scene and “noticed that his decomposition was advanced.”

    “He had been there obviously for some time,” the officer notes. “There were cobwebs and dead bugs all over the apartment.”


    The Medical Examiner who arrived at the scene later determined that there were no signs of foul play and that White’s decomposition “appeared to be over two years old, closer to three.” He would have been 51 at the time of his death.

    The gruesome discovery came as a major shock to Stevens, despite her growing concern of her son’s whereabouts since he missed her phone call on his birthday in April 2017.

    “My son would call me at least twice a month,” the Long Island, New York resident told WFAA, adding that White — who worked for a defense contractor and traveled often — made contact with his mother no matter where he was in the world.

    “He would call me from Egypt. He would call me from the Philippines. He would call me right from Dallas,” she said.

    When her son didn’t answer her phone call in April 2017, Stevens said could not afford a private investigator, but conducted a search of White’s previous addresses — his most recent being in Glenn Heights, Texas — but nothing turned up.

    Stevens also claimed that multiple police departments refused to pursue a missing person case because White was an adult and traveled often. (The officer with DeSoto Police tells PEOPLE that their department does not operate this way and that they file a missing person case as soon as it’s reported.)

    “All them days, holidays, I just suffered,” Stevens told WFAA. “Because nobody wanted to help find him.”

    However, everything changed last week when Stevens finally got word of where her son had been all these years.

    “When the medical examiner told me three years, my knees gave away. Three years? And that’s what I can’t get past in my brain,” she recalled. “My biggest question is, how in the world could my son have been dead in that apartment and nobody knows anything?”


    Stevens also told WFAA that she and White’s adult children had no idea the Navy veteran, who was single after getting divorced nearly 20 years ago, had been living there.

    The only sign that may have pointed at some troubling circumstances was about two years ago when a neighbor living below White’s apartment complained of a leak from the ceiling.

    The DeSoto officer confirms that maintenance did try to check on the leak, but when they arrived at White’s door, they did not receive an answer. At this time, it is unclear what happened after that point.

    A spokesperson for DeSoto Town Center could not disclose that information when contacted by PEOPLE.

    When officers finally made their way into White’s residence last week, they located several expired bottles of medication for his diabetes.

    White’s pickup truck, a gray Ford F-150, was covered in dust in the public parking area of the DeSoto Town Center parking garage, according to WFAA.

    The DeSoto Officer also tells PEOPLE that a number of receipts were found in White’s wallet, dating back to early November 2016 — just a few weeks before he had moved into the apartment complex.

    “Based on when he moved in, [around] October 25, and the last receipt was [dated] November 6 or 7, it appears that he wasn’t even there two weeks before some medical condition or something happened to him that caused him to fall from the chair and remain unresponsive,” the officer says.

    While no cause of death has been determined from the autopsy yet, the officer believes “it’s gonna be pretty hard to do, after three years of decomposition.”

    “No family member that we know of reached out to us to check on him, to check his welfare,” the officer says. “We’re waiting for answers just to see what [the apartment’s] protocols are, in terms of checking on their residences and what they did.”

    In a statement to PEOPLE, the spokesperson for DeSoto Town Center said, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Mr. White during this difficult time.”

    “Mr. White was frequently out of the country and his bills were paid through automatic withdrawals from his accounts,” they continued. “Our maintenance personnel discovered his body when they identified and responded to a service issue at his apartment. We are cooperating with the police as they investigate this incident.”

    When asked about how White was able to renew his lease each year, the spokesperson added, “All we can determine is that the issues that would normally trigger a welfare check — non-payment of rent, a full mailbox, inquiries from family members or employers or concerned neighbors — did not take place in this case.”

    “There was the unusual situation of Mr. White’s rent continuing to be paid automatically and his frequent travel that did not lead to a welfare check at his apartment,” the spokesperson said.

    https://people.com/human-interest/navy-veteran-found-dead-in-apartment-3-years-later/
     
  2. 1QTPie

    1QTPie Elder Sim

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    I blame the apartment complex for not changing a filter, not checking about the "leak", not towing his car, not inspecting the apartment, not doing pest control, nothing. They're terrible.

    I blame the police because I mean, did they even try to find out where he could be. They refused to help his mother. WTH!!!

    I blame his job too. Did they not know that he wasn't showing up?
     
  3. danniegirl

    danniegirl Well-Known Member

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    Im sorry im going to need the mothers age and family and medical history

    Cause 3 years mama and you stressed over one missed call in 2017


    ETA
    I read it again A bit slower

    He had just moved there Oct 25 and may have died around Nov 7th

    That would explain the no mail or family not knowing where he had moved too exactly

    but he had grown kids and a mom still out there 3 years is just wrong

    did yall see the documentary about the British women that was fount in her apartment dead
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2019
  4. Black Ambrosia

    Black Ambrosia Well-Known Member

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    I get that he’d recently moved but it’s odd that he has such frequent contact with his mom but she didn’t have his address. It’s also odd that his employer didn’t contact his family at some point or the authorities to prompt a welfare check.
     
  5. Ms. Tarabotti

    Ms. Tarabotti Well-Known Member

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    His bills were paid through automatic withdrawals- did he have that much in accounts that it didn't dwindle down to nothing?

    Did he have another job or was he fully retired at age 51? No missed doctors appointments, insurance issues, legal issues?

    Another article said the room was closed up tight but shouldn't you be able to smell decomposition anyway?
     
  6. LostInAdream

    LostInAdream Well-Known Member

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    He is a retired military vet. They receive their pension on the 1st of the month once their military service is done. His retirement check is deposited on the first of every month until his death is reported to the VA. I'm sure his rent and bills auto drafted from his account.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2019
  7. ClassyJSP

    ClassyJSP Well-Known Member

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    I'm confused.

    When his mother did her search and obtained the Texas address could she not go there herself? That's cheaper than hiring a PI.

    He had that much money in his bank account for the rent to be paid for almost 3 years? So..the rental office never put a note on his door, checked on this truck that hasn't moved in days, ask him to renew his lease. etc?

    Where did he work? No friends, No girlfriend?

    His mother makes it sound like they talked but were they really close? How do you move and not tell your mother or your children you have a new apartment?

    The whole thing is just sad how a man can lay deceased on an apartment floor for so long with no one looking for him.

    And all his mother has to say is he didn't answer some phone calls, and some missed holidays...

    wow
     
  8. ClassyJSP

    ClassyJSP Well-Known Member

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    Ok, that makes sense.
    Exactly. There's so much going on here that the one missed phone call amounts to nothing.
     
  9. shawnyblazes

    shawnyblazes Bette Davis Eyes

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    You telling me noone noticed that this DOOR never opened and noone EVER came out.



    so umm you just gonna reup on the man lease??? You kidding me???
     
  10. BackToMyRoots

    BackToMyRoots Happy

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    I'm sorry. How concerned can your family be if they haven't spoken to you in three years and just went on like, "I hope he's OK?"

    That's nonsense.
     
  11. ElegantPearl17

    ElegantPearl17 Well-Known Member

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    Who paid the rent for 3 years? Resigned the lease?
     
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  12. Iwanthealthyhair67

    Iwanthealthyhair67 Well-Known Member

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    I guess he didn't have a relationship with his children that they didn't hear from him in three years, what a sad way to die and no one notices
     
  13. Kanky

    Kanky Well-Known Member

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    I’m not going to blame the family for this one. It is odd to live your life in a way that you could die and be dead for a long time without anyone really noticing. No friends, no coworkers, no family members, no one that you are so close to that they would freak out if they didn’t hear from you for a while? That kind of lifestyle is a deliberate choice.
     
  14. Kanky

    Kanky Well-Known Member

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    The apartment complex needs to refund the rent from when he was dead. :look:
     
  15. RoundEyedGirl504

    RoundEyedGirl504 Well-Known Member

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    HE had no close relationships I would imagine. This is sad and disconcerting for sure.
     
  16. LdyKamz

    LdyKamz Well-Known Member

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    One of my first thoughts after reading the article. Unknowingly storing a dead body because they don't take care of their rental units or check on tenants does not = full price rent.

    I hate to blame the mom but after hearing from him twice a month you hear nothing at all and then call him on his birthday the following year and that's when you get worried? After that 2nd missed phone call of the month and me calling every hour of every day with no answer I would have gotten my butt on a plane and done some investigating. Even if she didn't have his new address (benefit of the doubt: maybe he had just moved before he died and hadn't had a chance to tell anyone yet?) she should have been able to get some information from his previous residence or something! Were they really as close as she says? Or maybe it's that she's very old and couldn't do more? Her son is 51 after all.

    My mother calls me constantly and sometimes if she knows I'm avoiding her calls she'll make someone else call me just to report back to her that they spoke to me. If no one gets through after a few days she'll text me saying "I am coming to your house today to check on you" at which time I promptly answer. I can only imagine the hell she'd raise in my building if I didn't. She's done it before, come round screaming my name for the whole neighborhood to hear. Smh I feel bad for the mom in this story but I am also very confused by her limited action.
     
  17. GinnyP

    GinnyP Well-Known Member

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    So sad! Damn!
     
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  18. msbettyboop

    msbettyboop Well-Known Member

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    Don't y'all renew apartment leases every year in US? Who was signing his new lease every year? Or you can sign apartment leases for years in advance? No apartment maintenance for 3 years? This story is weird...
     
  19. LavenderMint

    LavenderMint Well-Known Member

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    Resigning the lease is what keeps getting me. My leasing company emails us, 90-60-30 days in advance. Didn’t sign? They put you on a sky high month to month lease but they definitely try to make contact.
     
  20. Theresamonet

    Theresamonet Well-Known Member

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    So he called his mom 2 every months and then he just stopped, and she didn't bother to call her son for a whole years?? That’s odd. It makes me feel like all the effort she claims to have put in over the next 2 years isn’t true.

    I’m assuming that he was probably getting some fixed income directly deposited into his account and that’s what was paying his rent for the 3 years. With some leases it just automatically switches over to a month to month tenancy if a lease is not resigned.
     
  21. LdyKamz

    LdyKamz Well-Known Member

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    Maybe he signed a longer lease? My landlord offers me a 2 year lease and he mails it and I mail it back. No contact. My first couple years here I didn't speak to him or see him not once because I was calling my father to fix everything for me.

    But you're still right about the bold though because when I renewed my 2 year lease the first time my landlord sent the super over to "make sure I had bars on my window". :rolleyes: Probably a pretense just to get in the apartment since I had literally no contact with him whatsoever for 2 years so I understood. Now, every once in a blue moon my landlord will send a text (yes, a text!) and ask if I need any repairs or anything. Sometimes I respomd sometimes I don't.

    There is a woman on my floor who never answers her door, ignores text messages and doesn't acknowledge the landlord or super at all. A few years back there was a funny smell on our floor and I had literally never seen a person enter or leave that apartment so I contacted the landlord. He said she's fine and he sends the police to her door once a year for a welfare check since she never talks to him but he keeps getting rent checks. The smell was her cats.
     
  22. Everything Zen

    Everything Zen Well-Known Member

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    It happens. Especially if there is a family member who likes to be in the wind and family tries to reach out to said loved one and they never pick up the phone or respond to emails.
     
  23. Everything Zen

    Everything Zen Well-Known Member

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    Co-sign that I have a 2 year lease.
     
  24. Brwnbeauti

    Brwnbeauti Well-Known Member

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    Every 3-6 months our complex comes around for maintenance. They slip paper under the door that asks up to restrain pets in case they show up when we are not home. How did no one find him?
     
  25. BackToMyRoots

    BackToMyRoots Happy

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    Not if he used to call her twice a month without fail and then just stopped and she never heard from him again.

    “My son would call me at least twice a month,” the Long Island, New York resident told WFAA, adding that White — who worked for a defense contractor and traveled often — made contact with his mother no matter where he was in the world.”
     
  26. dancinstallion

    dancinstallion Well-Known Member

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    My brother in law's friend was just found dead in his apartment (in Houston) after the neighbor below him complained about a leak. They don't know how long he had been there on the couch. I keep wondering if this leak that the neighbors are complaining about is leaking body fluids.

    Because how else is there a reoccurring leak in these stories. It is not like the deceased were running water because the apartments would have flooded a long time ago.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2019
  27. ThirdEyeBeauty

    ThirdEyeBeauty Well-Known Member

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    He just moved. No one would have had that information on me as well after a move two weeks ago. Same for employer because I skipped the emergency contact question. Just to clarify, I mean the me a couple of years ago. Now, it's easier to find me.

    The mother is older and probably not as investigative as we LHCF.

    So my situation would have been very similar except the dust on the truck, renewing the lease, and performing maintenance would have triggered a welfare check so I definitely would say the apartment management failed him.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2019
  28. chocolat79

    chocolat79 Well-Known Member

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    This story is sad and bizarre. Based on PP’s input, it sounds less and less like the leasing office’s fault, but they should still get partial blame, just like the family. Even if Mom was 80, she couldn’t ask other family to try to find him? Especially since he called no matter where he was. And like someone said, he had NO close contacts besides his Mom? No friends, decent coworkers, nobody??
     
  29. dancinstallion

    dancinstallion Well-Known Member

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    The friend I was speaking of that passed liked living a solitary life. He didn't want girlfriends and didn't like people in his business. He was 56. He worked and went home. That's it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2019
  30. jasmatazz

    jasmatazz ...

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    I read somewhere that the mother tried to get other family members to help her raise money for a PI but was unsuccessful.

    Eta...
    I wonder if she was unsuccessful because everyone was experiencing financial difficulties and couldn’t contribute or if they had the money/resources and simply didn’t want to contribute. If it’s the latter it makes me wonder what kind of reputation he had where no one cared to help his mother find him (not even his own children), and if it’s the former I wonder why they didn’t start a Go Fund Me or something.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2019

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