MATHIS – During a routine mail delivery on Aug. 17, postal worker Rosalinda Roman noticed one of her customer’s mailboxes overflowing with mail.
Ramon was out on a rural route making a delivery to an elderly customer whom she had come to know.
“I would always pull up, drive by her door and I would honk, and she’d come out she’s very nice, sweet lady,” said Ramon “And she didn’t come out.”
“I honked and honked, I got off (my truck) and so then she never answered.”
Ramon said the customer’s car was at the residence, so she didn’t think anything of it.
Four days had gone by and the mailbox continued to be left unchecked. She said all of the curtains in the house were closed and the customer’s car was still parked outside.
“Every day that I drove by there, I don’t know ... I felt like something wasn’t right,” Ramon said. “And I would look over there and everything was exactly the same, her mailbox was building up.”
On Thursday morning, Ramon told Mathis Postmaster Annette Freeman about her concerns about the elderly woman. Freeman said for her to contact a deputy to check on the customer.
Before doing that, Ramon said the customer had a magazine mailed out to them. So, Ramon left the magazine to hang outside the mailbox, hoping it would catch the neighbor’s attention and check in on the customer.
“On Friday, the magazine was still there,” said Ramon. “The mailbox was open, overflowing, you know, the mail sticking out. And I just said, ‘I’ve got to find out.’”
Ramon’s husband is a deputy for San Patricio County and she decided to text him to ask to send someone out to the property to check on the elderly woman.
It was not until Saturday morning when Ramon found out what had happened.
According to San Patricio County Sheriff Oscar Rivera, a deputy was sent to the elderly woman’s residence but did not receive an answer.
“We sent a deputy to go and check,” said Rivera. “The utilities were off. There was no power, there’s no water.”
The deputy thought maybe the resident had moved away. So, the sheriff’s office wanted to confirm and searched for someone related to the elderly woman.
A second deputy who lived in Mathis knew the woman’s son and tried to get in contact with him. The deputies on night shift tried reaching out to him but did not receive a call back until the following day.
Rivera said the son currently lived in Houston but said the elderly woman was still living in Mathis.
On Saturday, Aug. 24, the deputies on day shift wanted to make sure the residence was vacant, so they returned again.
“They started looking through the windows but they had curtains,” Rivera said. “One of the guys came in the back towards the back bathroom window and they saw a little bit through there and saw what looked like to be a leg moving.”
“So they said, ‘The hell with that, there’s somebody in the house.’”
Deputies then proceeded to break down the door. They found the elderly woman passed out on the bathroom floor and extremely dehydrated.
According to Rivera, Mathis EMS was on standby but had to attend to another call. So, Sinton EMS came and transported the woman to the hospital.
Ramon said she had started her route when she got a call from her husband.
“He said, ‘Sgt. Rodriguez said to tell you that you did a good job.’ So, thank you for doing a good job for looking out for your customers,’” Ramon said.
“When my husband called me Saturday morning and told me that they had found her and she was barely alive, I just started crying because I was like, ‘Wow, you know, no telling if she was already lying on the floor the Saturday before and that was a whole week, you know, six days.’ But I just thank God.”
Ramon said she is thankful and gives her credit to God.
“I’m just thankful,” said Ramon. “I know that she was a widower and that was another thing. You know, I always look out for elderly, that’s a calling I feel I’ve had. And I always try to help them as much as I can.”
Ramon was told by the elderly woman’s neighbor that she is currently in the ICU at Bay Area Corpus Christi Medical Center.
Rivera said, after hearing this story, he hopes that people will continually check on their loved ones and prevent an incident like this one from happening again.