A missing Navy veteran who was found dead in his apartment died three years ago, a medical examiner said.

Ronald Wayne White, a traveling defense contractor, was found dead on the floor of his apartment in DeSoto, Texas last week. He would have been 51 years old when he died.

The discovery shocked his heartbroken family, who are now left wondering how his body was not found sooner.

White’s mother, Doris Stevens, said her son called her at least twice a moth, telling WFAA, ‘He would call me from Egypt. He would call from me from the Philippines. He would call me right from Dallas.’

The calls stopped nearly three years ago and Stevens, who lives in New York, said she because suspicious when she could not reach her son on his birthday in April 2017, but she could not afford a private investigator.

‘All them days, holidays, I just suffered because nobody wanted to help find him,’ Stevens said.

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Police told Stevens that they could not pursue her son’s disappearance as a missing person’s case because he was an adult known to travel the world.

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White was only found after the DeSoto Town Center Apartment complex investigated multiple units where tenants had not been using water.

Some of the units the apartment complex investigated were empty, but when they forced open White’s door, they found him dead on his kitchen floor. A medical examiner later confirmed White had been dead for three years.

Stevens said: ‘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.’

‘My biggest question is, how in the world could my son have been dead in that apartment and nobody knows anything,’ Stevens continued.

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Police said White had a month-to-month lease that he paid threw an automatic withdrawal linked to his Navy retirement account. He had a corner apartment that was well-insulated and had all the windows locked and sealed.

Authorities have not released White’s cause of death, but said they found diabetes medication in the apartment hat dated back to 2016. White’s family confirmed that he we a diabetic.

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DeSoto Police detective Pete Shulte said: ‘The way he was found, the way the apartment was arranged and so forth, there was zero indication of foul play.’

The apartment complex has since issued a statement, writing: ‘Mr. White was frequently out of the country and his bills were paid through automatic withdrawals from his accounts. Our maintenance personnel discovered his body when they identified and responded to a service issue at his apartment. We are cooperating with the police as they investigate this incident.’

A medical examiner is still set to perform tests, like a toxicology, to if White’s cause of death can be determined.

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White’s friend, fellow Navy veteran Jerry Hannon, said: ‘It is sadness to see that a veteran, a decorated veteran, had to go out like this.’

Stevens said: ‘I can’t hardly cope with it to be honest with you. And if I wasn’t around them (her son’s friends), I probably wouldn’t. I can’t hardly deal with it.’