I’ve told my son’s story innumerable times. I get responses that offer condolences. As much as I appreciate the kindness of strangers what I want is accountability, I want answers. I want someone to read this and tell me what I can do to prevent another parent and child from experiencing this.
“My son was Evan Rumlow. He was severely afflicted with schizophrenia for 14 years and later with D.I.D. He was a client of Citywide in San Francisco.
On Monday (5/03/2021) I received a call from San Francisco Medical Examiner that Evan was found deceased.
He was found in a state of severe decomposition, only his hair was identifiable. They cannot yet accurately determine how long he had been deceased but the guess is weeks.
On March 11, 2021 Evan’s case manager reported him as missing.
She notified me, told me she had not heard from him so considered him missing.
Nearly two months later I received that phone call.
Later I called the building manager where he lived.
She told me the way the case manager “checked” on her clients was to have someone knock on their door; a response- they contacted her, no response meant they weren’t available. That was the extent of her welfare check.
Evan, my son who’s life I trusted to be valued by his case manager died and decomposed alone in an apartment. A 5 minute welfare check would have changed this.
Evan was found on the floor. I wonder if he was on his bed, in pain and calling for help. Did he call out for me? Did he wonder why I didn’t come to help him? Did he get get off his bed to try to get help and lie on the floor until he died?
I close my eyes and see my son’s decomposed body. A 5 minute welfare check would have changed this.
How many other at risk adults are alone in their apartments? How many 5 minute welfare checks can change this?
I have since called several offices in #California including @CAgovernor was told there was nothing they can do.
The case manager called me and told me she assumed the bldg mng opened Evan’s door & saw him & that’s why she didn’t check further.
How many people are sitting in their apartments wondering why someone hasn’t come to help them or already decomposing?
How many parents will receive a call and not be able to close their eyes?
This was the conversation I had with the Medical Examiner(she was kind, considerate and thorough):
ME: Ms. Rumlow, I’m sorry I need to tell you we found your son and he is deceased. We cannot positively identify him
me: he had these tattoos
ME: his body was in such a state of decomposition those are unidentifiable
me: he had distinctive blue eyes
ME: again, because of the state of the body that is not useful. We can only see his hair and compare that with pictures.
me: can you determine when he died.
ME: at this time we can only guess it’s been weeks
me: (talk about CSI shows) they discuss larvae and lifespan
ME: that’s accurate. Larvae was on Evan’s body. We will study how old the larvae is, what the weather was (etc) to get closer to a date of death.
me: so what I see on the crime shows is accurate
ME: for the most part, yes.
I then needed to meet with a CSI in Colorado who took a DNA swab from me to positively identify the body as Evan. There is no reason to believe it’s not him, this is procedural.
I will grieve. I will be angry. Many days I will be numb. Because of the love of my children I am surrounded by love. I also have family and friends who are helping.
But this will forever be a warped part of my life story.
Dear @CynthiaR607096 I will not express my condolences per your post. I really do not have any advice. I tried to read your long post on my cell but with the way AARP has things set up, I can only read about half. Hmmm, have you talked to the media? Hopefully you have not stated you have and I cannot get to that part of your post. It is really awesome you wanting to prevent this from happening to another parent. Thanks for sharing your story with us. Lots of hugs, Angela