For our case of the week, we were hired to check in on someone who hadn’t been seen in a couple days. It ended when our client and the investigator likely saved the person’s life.
We received a call from “Mary” in Dallas, who was concerned for her brother, “Bobby”, who lives in Orange County.
Mary had received a call from Bobby’s work advising that he had not been to work in two days. This was completely out of the ordinary for her brother.
Mary told us that she had contacted the local police who advised they would perform a police welfare check when “time permitted.” The next day the police responded to the Orange County apartment complex and knocked on apartment door number 38. There was no response and they left.
Two days later, Mary was frantic and contacted the apartment complex manager, Daisy. Daisy agreed to knock on the door and also check with neighbors. Once again, knocks at the front door of the apartment went unanswered and the neighborhood survey conducted by Daisy revealed no relevant information.
That’s when Mary decided to call our office.
Our investigator responded to the apartment complex and had no better luck in getting someone to come to the door of apartment 38. He then meet with Daisy, who advised she did have keys to the apartment and the garage door for Bobby’s vehicle, but she would only turn those keys over to a law enforcement officer.
The investigator then called the police to request assistance in determining if Bobby was inside the apartment. The dispatcher advised there was heavy call volume and the response time would be no sooner than two hours.
During the wait time the investigator spoke with neighbors. The occupants in the apartment below Bobby’s unit advised they had seen him two days previously. Bobby appeared disheveled and disoriented. Another neighbor stated that Bobby’s garage door had not been opened for three days. Given those facts, the investigator was almost certain that Bobby was inside the apartment.
Upon the arrival of two officers, the investigator was asked for his driver’s license and private investigator identification card. This is standard procedure. The investigator then answered their questions and was very insistent, given all the circumstances, that Bobby was inside the apartment.
One officer went to apartment 38 and banged on the door with his nightstick while calling out Bobby’s name. This was loud enough to bring out neighbors to inquire about the commotion. There was no response.
The investigator advised the officers that the apartment manager had keys to the apartment and garage. Entry would be easy. The investigator called Daisy who responded to apartment and handed the keys to one of the officers. The garage door was opened and inside Bobby’s car was revealed.
The officers then entered the apartment and shortly thereafter advised our investigator that they had called for an ambulance and paramedics. Bobby was found on the bedroom floor and was not responding to the officer’s commands. Liquor bottles and pills were also observed. One officer found a pulse and shook Bobby, who appeared to go in and out of consciousness.
The paramedics were able to revive Bobby, who stated he was very depressed about life. He did not want to return to his job and had started drinking earlier in the week. Combined with some prescription medication, this almost ended in deadly consequences.
The investigator later arrived at the hospital and visited Bobby in his room. He was very thankful and appreciative of the investigator’s efforts and persistence. The investigator then dialed the cell number for Mary and handed his phone to Bobby. They spoke for a while in private. When the investigator returned to the room he heard Bobby say, “Thank you and I love you too.”
The officers in this case did a great job. Had Mary called us earlier in the week, then we could have saved everyone a lot of heartache and limited Bobby’s trauma.
Don’t ever wait for the system to work or for the officers to develop probable cause to enter. Call a private investigator immediately, and don’t be embarrassed if they knock on the door and your friend or family member opens the door.
Hiring a private investigator for a few hundred dollars can move your welfare check case to the head of the police workload and initiate law enforcement action that generally would never happen. Mary’s decision to call us, along with the persistence and ingenuity of our investigator likely saved Bobby’s life.
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