The Norwalk Reflector assistant circulation manager had been delivering newspapers to 81 Chapel St., Monroeville, for three weeks when he noticed they were piling up. Simpson, of Norwalk, said he wasn’t concerned at first because nobody picked up the papers for two days, but they would be gone later.
It was seeing four days of abandoned newspapers that truly concerned him. Simpson said he figured “something was awry” and reported his concerns to the Monroeville Police Department about 10:10 a.m. Tuesday.
Making that report might have saved the life of a 71-year-old woman. Chief Gary Lyons said “considering her state,” there wasn’t any air conditioning in the house and the woman hadn’t had anything to eat or drink in several days, “she was in definite jeopardy.”
Lyons responded to the Chapel Street residence. The chief said “all the windows were locked,” but he was able to see the woman in obvious distress while laying on a couch.
“We were able to make entry,” Lyons added. “She had injured her ankle; she was unable to move.”
It’s unknown how the woman injured herself.
“An ambulance was called. She was transported to the hospital,” said Lyons, who didn’t have any updates on the patient.
For about three weeks, Simpson had been delivering the newspapers to the woman’s home. He was substituting for another delivery person.
“No, I didn’t see any activity there,” said Simpson, who never saw the woman while making his deliveries. “The car was parked in the driveway (each time) I pulled in there. … I didn’t see any windows open.”
Upon seeing the four days of newspapers on the small, back porch, he knocked on the door.
“There was no answer,” Simpson said. “I also called her phone number and there was also no answer.”
Carriers are coached to tell their supervisors if they notice papers piling up for two to three days at a residence on their routes.
“Most of the time it’s someone who went on vacation. This is the first time in my memory it’s been someone in the house who was injured,” said Simpson, who has been the Reflector assistant circulation manager for almost 26 years.
“I wasn’t surprised someone was in there because of the car being there … but I’m really happy she was found.”
Lyons said he is “very appreciative” that Simpson notified police and requested he check on the resident’s well-being. The chief also said because the papers were on the woman’s back porch, officers wouldn’t have noticed anything was wrong while on the patrol.