A Navy veteran who was believed by his family to have been missing since 2016 was found dead in his apartment in Texas last week, and medical examiners believe he had been dead in the apartment for three years, according to KTHV-TV.
Police discovered the body of 51-year-old Ronald Wayne White in the DeSoto Town Center Apartments in DeSoto, Texas, while checking in on apartments that had not been using any water. They found White laying dead on the kitchen floor.
"When the medical examiner told me three years, my knees gave away," White's mother, Doris 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?"
Stevens lives in Long Island, New York, and said her son would call her at least twice a month until he suddenly stopped calling in 2016 and was not answering when Stevens tried to reach out to him.
White could not be found at any of his previously known addresses, and police would not open a missing persons case because White was an adult known to travel.
White's family didn't know about his DeSoto residence. Police say he was on a month-to-month lease and that rent was paid through automatic bank drafts. They found diabetes medicine from 2016 in the apartment, and found his truck in a public parking lot covered in dust with flyers under the windshield wipers.
Police say there is no indication of foul play in White's death.
"It is sadness to see that a veteran, a decorated veteran, had to go out like this," White's friend Jerry Hannon, also a Navy veteran, said.