In a terribly sad, almost unbelievable story from Newsweek, a Navy veteran was found on his kitchen floor three years after he died.

Ronald Wayne White worked as a defense contractor and frequently traveled. He would usually call his mother, Doris Stevens, at least twice a month. When the calls stopped and she couldn't contact him on his birthday in 2017 she was worried.

Police didn't find White's body for another three years and it was a total accident.

The Desoto, Texas police department forced open White's apartment door after someone noticed that the rent was being paid, but no water had been used for quite a long time. (His rent was automatically being deducted from a bank account.) They found him lying on his kitchen floor.

A medical examiner concluded that he had been lying dead for three years.

How could someone who worked for the government, had a debit card being charged monthly and family reporting his absence not be found for years?

White's mother was repeatedly told by police that a missing person investigation could not be launched because he was an adult and traveled frequently. Doris couldn't afford a private investigator so she and other family members searched the addresses they knew of.

It's so sad for a parent to outlive a child, but for Doris to have the 'what if?' float over her for years is heartbreaking.

"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?"

-Doris Stevens

White was just 51.

This story is a reminder of how important it is to get to know our neighbors and to check on people if we think something may be wrong. Don't be shy about saying hello once in a while and establishing a positive relationship with the people living around you. That way if you ever need to check on them, they're likely to answer the door and let you know they're ok. If they don't, you'll know that it may be time to call someone to check on them.