A decorated Navy veteran who was reported missing two years ago was found deceased in his DeSoto, Texas apartment last week. Police say he had been dead in his apartment for three years.
The family of Ronald Wayne White reported him missing three years ago. But police said there was nothing they could do because Mr. White was an adult who traveled extensively.
"My son would call me at least twice a month," his mom Doris Stevens told WFAA. "He would call me from Egypt. He would call me from the Philippines. He would call me right from Dallas," she said.
One day three years ago, the calls stopped. His mom said she became suspicious when she couldn't reach him on his birthday in April of 2017.
Stevens said she never heard from her son again.
"All them days, holidays, I just suffered. Because nobody wanted to help find him," Stevens told WFAA.
Then, last week, management at the DeSoto Town Center Apartments on East Pleasant Run Road, checked apartments where the residents were not using water.
Maintenance personnel forced open the door to unit 1320 on the third floor. They found White's skeletal remains on the floor of his kitchen. He was 51 at the time of his death.
The medical examiner determined the time of death was approximately three years ago.
"When the medical examiner told me three years, my knees gave away," Stevens said. "Three years? And that's what I can't get past in my brain. I can't get past three years. My biggest question is, how in the world could my son have been dead in that apartment and nobody knows anything?"
Police said White's month-to-month lease and his other bills were paid through automatic withdrawals from his Navy retirement bank account. He had set up automatic payments because he traveled a lot.
White's apartment was relatively new construction, well-insulated and all the windows and doors were locked and sealed tight.
Approximately two years ago, a downstairs neighbor complained to management about a putrid liquid seeping through the ceiling.
Police said there was no sign of foul play in the apartment. "The way he was found, the way the apartment was arranged and so forth, there was zero indication of foul play," said Pete Schulte, a detective with the DeSoto Police Department.
White's family said he was a diabetic. Police found diabetic medication in the apartment. White was single, having divorced 20 years ago.
WFAA searched public records but were unable to find a Ronald White at the DeSoto address. Stevens said she didn’t know where White lived.
"It is sadness to see that a veteran, a decorated veteran, had to go out like this," said White's friend and fellow Navy veteran Jerry Hannon.