The decomposed body of a Navy veteran was found in his Texas apartment during a routine maintenance visit, and authorities believe the man had been dead for at least three years, NBC News reports. Meanwhile, his mother says that she’d been trying for years to get the police to take her concerns about her son’s whereabouts seriously, only to be rebuffed by multiple agencies.
Ronald Wayne White was, admittedly, a difficult man to keep track of. After leaving the Navy in 2004, he took a job that oft took him out of the country for months at a time. Still, his mother, Doris Stevens, says that they would speak on the phone at least once a week when he was in the States, less frequently when he was out of the country. But it wasn’t like him to go months without speaking to her.
The last she’d heard from him was in the fall of 2016. Stevens says that, as far as she knew, Ronald was going to vote in the U.S. presidential election, and then go to the Philippines, where he’d purchased a home. What’s more, he’d sold his house in Glenn Heights, in suburban Dallas, in preparation for his move to Asia.
By February 2017, Stevens hadn’t heard from her son in several months and was starting to get concerned. Little did she know that by that time he was likely already dead and decomposing in a DeSoto apartment in suburban Dallas.
Stevens contacted the Dallas police, only to be told that she couldn’t file a missing person report on an adult. The Glenn Heights police were equally unhelpful, she said.
“They didn’t give me no kind of consideration,” she said.
She turned to her family, hoping to hire a private investigator who could figure things out, perhaps by contacting the State Department to figure out the comings and goings of his passport and financial activities.
Unfortunately, last week she got a phone call from one of her son’s adult children, telling her that he was dead. Even worse, he had been dead for three years, his body not discovered until a routine maintenance issue brought workers into his apartment.
It was easy for him to go unnoticed. He came and went for months at a time, and all of his bills were paid automatically through direct debits.
Meanwhile, Stevens is still waiting for the results of an autopsy, which could take as much as 90 days. She’s not convinced her son died of natural causes.
“It’s just something weighing heavy on my heart. You’re not supposed to bury your children,” she said.