DALLAS - A Navy veteran living in Texas was found dead in his apartment last week after vanishing about three years ago, and the medical examiner’s office is now saying he’s been dead the whole time.
Ronald Wayne White, 51 at the presumed time of death, was found dead on the kitchen floor of his apartment in the DeSoto Town Center Apartments complex just outside of Dallas last week after staff began checking apartments that were rented but had not been using water.
DeSoto Police said that staff forced the door open and found White dead on the kitchen floor, WFAA reported.
"What I can tell you is it is very clear when officers entered that he had been there for a while," Detective Pete Schulte said.
The medical examiner ruled that White had been dead for about three years, something that was corroborated by his family.
"My son would call me at least twice a month," his mom Doris Stevens, who lives in Long Island, New York, told WFAA. “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. I can't get past three years.”
Stevens told the station that her son was a Navy veteran who traveled frequently working as a defense contractor. She said that three years ago is when the calls stopped and she was unable to reach him.
Stevens added that she couldn't report him missing because of his age and the frequency at which he would travel all over the world. A search of his previous addresses turned up empty.
"My biggest question is, how in the world could my son have been dead in that apartment and nobody knows anything?"
White’s apartment was paid for on a month-to-month automatic withdrawal from his Navy retirement, according to WFAA.
Police said there was no indication of foul play.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.