A family remains deeply disturbed after their loved one was found dead in his apartment after what was determined to be three years.
According to WFAA, Ronald Wayne White was found in his DeSoto, Texas apartment last week and a medical examiner determined that he had been dead for approximately three years. White was a Navy veteran who traveled the world as a defense contractor. He would have been 51 years old at the time of his death.
“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.”
However, these phone calls stopped about three years ago. Stevens, who lived in Long Island, New York said she started getting suspicious when her son couldn’t be reached on his birthday in April 2017.
Stevens explained that her family didn’t have enough money to hire a private investigator and searches at his previous addresses didn’t result in answers.
“All them days, holidays, I just suffered. Because nobody wanted to help find him,” Stevens said. Various police departments expressed that because White was an adult and traveled extensively, they couldn’t pursue a missing person case.
It wasn’t until last week that the DeSoto police was investigating the DeSoto Town Center Apartments because it appeared tenants weren’t using water in multiple units. Some apartments were rented but empty. When authorities had to force the bolted door open at unit 1320, that’s when they discovered White dead on the kitchen floor.
“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,” Stevens said. “My biggest question is, how in the world could my son have been dead in that apartment and nobody knows anything?”
Police said White had a month-to-month lease paid through an automatic withdrawal from an account connected to his Navy retirement. His apartment was on the third floor at the very northwest corner of the complex. It was new, well-insulated and the windows were sealed and locked tight.
DeSoto detective Pete Schulte said a downstairs neighbor did complain about a small quantity of liquid seeping through her ceiling, which was two years ago. But he said that maintenance inspected the issue then kept it moving once it stopped. They didn’t enter White’s upstairs apartment when nobody answered the door.
“The way he was found, the way the apartment was arranged and so forth, there was zero indication of foul play,” said Schulte.
White’s pickup truck, a gray Ford F-150, also remained in the public parking area of the DeSoto Town Center parking garage. It had accumulated dust and several advertising leaflets were found under the windshield wipers.
A search for White’s records by WFAA found multiple addresses for him, but not the apartment in DeSoto. His adult children and his mom said they didn’t know he rented an apartment there. White was single following a divorce approximately 20 years ago.
“I can’t hardly cope with it to be honest with you,” Stevens said. “And if I wasn’t around them [her son’s friends], I probably wouldn’t. I can’t hardly deal with it.”
Toxicology exams are still being carried out to see if a cause of death can be determined.