The United States Postal Service in Denver acknowledged a mail carrier failed to report a corpse last week after mistaking it for a Halloween decoration.
Dale Porch, 46, collapsed on his outside steps after returning home from an overnight shift at the Regional Transportation District.
Family members of the deceased say that if the postal worker had contacted authorities when he first saw the body, Porch might be alive today.
“My brother-in-law walked up these steps, got to this step here and collapsed… When we found the body later around noon, he was still warm," the victim’s sister-in-law Kimberly Cordova told Denver's ABC affiliate. "Maybe if the mailman had done something, he would still be here."
Porch was discovered by his son later in the day.
“I hurt and I’m so angry. I’m angry because he stepped over my husband and put the mail in the mailbox,” widow Hedy Porch said in an interview with CBS Denver.
The Porch family is currently awaiting an autopsy from the coroner’s office.
After confirming that mail was delivered to the Porch residency that Friday, the postal service released a statement in which it described the mail carrier as “a conscientious and dedicated employee ... who would certainly help a customer if he knew they were in need.”
The mailman has been temporarily reassigned to a new route according to a USPS representative.
“This is a very unfortunate situation and one that probably would not happen any other time of year," the representative told ABC Denver. "We are very sorry for the family's loss and have conveyed our condolences, and those of the carrier, to the family.”
The USPS is still investigating the matter.
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