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Senior Living CommunitiesMan found dead with heat and oven running at senior housing complex | #seniorliving | #elderly | #seniors

Man found dead with heat and oven running at senior housing complex | #seniorliving | #elderly | #seniors


A man with chronic health conditions was found dead this month inside a San Antonio Housing Authority complex after a stench was reported in the building.

On March 5, someone reported to police that a foul odor was coming from the fourth floor of the Fair Avenue Apartments, a southeast San Antonio high-rise for low-income seniors and people with disabilities.

Police were told that the tenants living in Apartments 413 and 414 hadn’t been seen in more than a week, and as soon as the officer stepped out of the elevator onto the fourth floor, he was confronted by the smell.

The officer found a man dead in Apartment 413 on the floor next to the bed. The man looked as if he had been there more than a week, according to the police report.

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Police identified the resident who died as Robert Charles Shumaker. One of the complex’s managers later told police that he had late-stage liver disease, ulcers and high blood pressure, according to the police report.

“Losing a resident is always saddening for our communities and the neighbors who become family,” the San Antonio Housing Authority said in a statement. “The resident in question had been in and out of the hospital with medical illnesses since December.”

SAHA said staff contacted Shumaker on Feb. 17, who was in the hospital and that a video showed Shumaker being pushed on a stretcher into the building on March 1.

SAHA said it doesn’t have access to medical reports, and the Bexar County Medical Examiner’s Office said his cause of death is under investigation. It’s unclear when he died.

“The heaters and oven were all on, and the room was very hot,” the officer wrote in the report. “It appeared (the man who died) may have been there since the snowstorm.”

This isn’t the first time a body has gone undiscovered for a length of time at the Fair Avenue Apartments.

Two years ago this month, the body of Thomas Lyons, a father of two, was found stuffed into the closet of Apartment 1116, hidden by a shower curtain. Maintenance crews had searched the apartment because of a stench that overwhelmed the eleventh floor. He’d been shot several times, and police said his body had been hidden there for months.

His murder remains unsolved, according to Crime Stoppers San Antonio.

“Can you imagine what those people went through with that odor?” said State Rep. Elizabeth “Liz” Campos. “The same thing with this man that was found … His body was starting to decompose, but yet they had people sleeping there.”

Campos is among elected officials and residents who have criticized SAHA’s response during the catastrophic freeze.

The seniors and people with disabilities living at the Fair Avenue Apartments were among those left without heat, electricity and water for days during the record-cold storm that began the night of Feb. 14 and lasted most of the week.


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