A mailman for the U.S. Postal Service has been taken off his regular route after delivering mail, as usual, to a Denver home, on Nov. 2, supposedly walking right past a man who had died on the front porch.
ABC News affiliate 7News reported that Dale Porch arrived home in the wee hours of that Friday morning after working a late-night shift for the Regional Transportation District, but he never made it inside the house. The 46-year-old man collapsed on the front stoop and went unnoticed until midday, when his son found him. Porch’s son called 911, but resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful.
Family members are now questioning if Porch could have been saved had he been attended to earlier. They are accusing the mailman of ignoring Porch’s corpse, which was lying only a few feet away from the mailbox, when delivering the mail that morning, 7News reported. “When we found the body later around noon, he was still warm,” Porch’s sister-in-law Kimberly Cordova told 7News. “Maybe if the mailman had done something, he would still be here.”
The USPS is conducting an investigation, but it released a statement defending its employee, who said he thought the body was a leftover Halloween decoration. “He told us he thought it was a mannequin,” Hedy Porch, Dale’s wife, told 7News. A Denver Post Office spokesman said the mail carrier in question is “extremely distraught” and spoke highly of the postman, explaining the incident “probably would not happen any other time of year.”
We know this carrier to be a conscientious and dedicated employee. He is someone who would not fail to help a customer, if he knew they were in need … Our carriers have a long history of assisting customers in neighborhoods across the country, each and every day, and that holds true for our letter carriers here in Denver.
Mail carriers have saved the lives of their customers in the past. Postman Keith McVey has prevented three deaths during his career, most recently in July 2o10 when he performed CPR on an Akron, Ohio, man. This year, ABC reported in late July that a Long Island, New York, mailman called 911 after noticing his elderly client had failed to pick up two days’ worth of mail and discovering her calling for help through the bathroom window.