Ideas and advice please

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merryone

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Jun 24, 2008
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This concerns my son's aunt. Over the past few years she has suffered an untold amount of tragedy, her partner died, her mother and her brother died within months of one another and then her daughter (her only child) took her own life. I really don't know how she has coped over these years, she's sporadically kept in touch with me via phonecalls and facebook and we made a few attempts to meet since, however, each time she has come up with an excuse as to why she can't and one time when I went to meet her she simply didn't turn up. She has remained reclusive only contacting people via facebook to give birthday/xmas greetings and occasionally has "liked" a few of our posts. I don't have her actual address but I know the area she lives and vaguely that she lives in a block of flats, I have her Whats app contact number and a mobile number.
About 3 weeks ago I got a ping from what's app from this Egyptian guy (God knows how he got my contact) asking me whether I'd heard from Tracey as he was extremely worried about her and could I go round and check on her. I told him I didn't know her address so not possible, he explained that she hadn't posted on FB for a few weeks. I told him not to worry sure she's fine, as she often pops on and off.. He was very persistent so I called her mobile to find the number didn't exist any more, I tried calling her via whatsapp it rang and rang but she didn't pick up. I messaged her via whatsapp and msn messenger to find the messages had been sent but not seen. I contacted a mutual friend who said, like me facebook was now their only contact and that she'd not seen her for years, like me only vaguely knew the area she lives but had no address or phone number for her, but she "liked" one of her posts on March 10th. I messaged the Egyptian guy to tell him I'd tried but no joy but if I hear anything at all I'll let him know. He kept bombarding me with messages and I told him to stop doing this - I said I'm happy to keep the line of communication open so I'm able to give him some answers but I can't cope with my phone pinging every five minutes. He then told me that the last time he spoke to her which was march 10th (same day as the like) and that she was very ill and didn't feel right - I asked it what way and he said it was chest pains, I tried to reassure him that I'm sure she wouldn't sought medical help if she needed it. He said I should report her missing to the police! I actually called her nearest hospital just to see if they had a patient of her name but I was unable to get through. Between me and the mutual friend we decided that it wouldn't harm to call the police via 101 and give them what little information we had. The person I spoke to seemed extremely helpful even though I was only able to supply her name, her date of birth and the area she lives - They said they'd make some enquiries and get back to me. They got back to me within the hour to say there is nothing they can do anyway 'cause even if they knew exactly where she lives going round to the property is not something they'd do. I asked what now? And they helpfully told me that if it was a medical issue that I should go round to her house and if there's no reply to call the ambulance. Ok I can't do that anyway 'cause I don't have her address but if I did - firstly blocks of flats have intercom buzzers so you have to rely on somebody answering or waiting for somebody to leave the building so you can get in and secondly call the ambulance who could potentially break the door down and she's simply taken herself off somewhere to clear her head. Apart from persisting with trying to call the hospital there's precious little else I can do. I have told the guy that the police have got back to me yet but it all feels so helpless and hopeless.
 
The other thought I had is that I've being trying to call her via Whats app and I'm getting a ringtone. Would that still happen if somebody's phone was not charged? Or the phone was broken? Ok there is a possibility that it's the phone that's the issue but for this amount of time? It could be something as simple as not wanting to communicate with anyone, her daughter's birthday would've been March 14th so who knows? I know she's not been on my radar for years but I am very concerned for her welfare
 
Does she live in her own property or is it rented ? If its rented and owned by a housing association or a local council then you could contact them and ask them to do a welfare check. They have master keys to all their properties plus they can do a quick check of their database for the tenants name and address and if they come up with lots of excuses remind them that just a few months ago someone was found deceased in their flat and had been dead for a long long time but because her rent was being paid directly through her benefits, they didn`t have a clue. Sorry I hope that comment doesn`t panic you, I was just using it as an example why a welfare check shouldn`t be refused.
If she owns her own property or it`s a private let then it might pay off to contact the Council Tax dept of her local Council and ask if they can do the same or speak to the local Police on your behalf. I hope you manage to find out one way or another.
 
Does she live in her own property or is it rented ? If its rented and owned by a housing association or a local council then you could contact them and ask them to do a welfare check. They have master keys to all their properties plus they can do a quick check of their database for the tenants name and address and if they come up with lots of excuses remind them that just a few months ago someone was found deceased in their flat and had been dead for a long long time but because her rent was being paid directly through her benefits, they didn`t have a clue. Sorry I hope that comment doesn`t panic you, I was just using it as an example why a welfare check shouldn`t be refused.
If she owns her own property or it`s a private let then it might pay off to contact the Council Tax dept of her local Council and ask if they can do the same or speak to the local Police on your behalf. I hope you manage to find out one way or another.
I would guess that it was rented as I couldn't imagine that she would have the means to buy her own place, however I really don't know. If I knew the name of the block it would be something, but I don't. It could be a housing association property, a private rental, it even could be a council property. I mean if something bad has happened to her, and I sincerely hope that it hasn't I can't imagine if access is gained then the outcome isn't likely to be good. Of course there's a possibility that she's gone off grid and doesn't want any contact, or of course the issue is with her phone and not with her, but again would you get a normal ringtone from a phone that's out of action? I hope I find out if only to give this poor friend of hers some news. The list of coroners inquests in the area is available to view online, so if she is found deceased then surely it will be published there. I might try ringing the local hospital again but if it was anything like the first time i tried I just couldn't get through. It's all so sad
 
How about joining a FB group local to her area and asking if anyone knows her or where she lives?
The problem is her reclusive nature I would be loathe to do that. If she is off grid through choice, something like this could set her back. I would prefer to be able to make more subtle enquiries if that makes sense thanks for the idea though. I checked out the Sally Army route and there's a form one can fill in which I think I'll do should I not hear a peep soon. Again does anyone know the state of play when it comes to getting a ringtone from somebody's phone, does that mean that it's being charged? Surely if something had happened to the phone owner then it would eventually pack up wouldn't it?
 
I've managed to get the answer to my question. If you ring a whatsapp number and the phone is switched on and connected to the internet then it'll you'll hear the dialtone and it will say "ringing" on the screen. If the phone is dead or not connected to the internet then you'll still hear a dialing tone, however it will say "calling" on the screen. Unfortunately mine is the latter. Like I say it could be something as simple as a broken or lost phone, but I'm getting the feeling that it isn't. I reassured the Egyptian guy earlier that a ringtone would mean that her phone is charged so she must be ok, of course now I know different. I don't think I'll tell him this information as it would only serve to make him even more worried especially as he's not in the UK. I don't even know how they know each other or whether they have or have had some kind of relationship...but he's ridiculously worried about her. If she is in hospital I guess especially if she's in an intensive care ward then her phone will be off. Don't think I'm gonna find out if I'm honest, well not unless she's found under grizzly circumstances. I guess if she was taken into hospital and died of a non suspicious cause then nobody will hear anything. I wouldn't have a clue who she has down as next of kin, I know she has an uncle in Wales but I know nothing more than that!
 
How about contacting local social work department and see if they can do a welfare check.
 
The Egyptian guy has actually managed to find her actual address, yes it is in a block of flats but ground floor. If oh will give me a lift on Friday when I'm not working then I'll go round there and see what's what. Her phone is dead. I will try again to get through to the local hospitals and if no joy I will contact the police again
 
I'm getting a bit nervous now. I mean the trip might be completely fruitless, as in I buzz the buzzer and get no reply and there's nobody about to ask to try and gain access to the building. I'm gonna have to be brave enough to ring the doorbells of the flats either side and ask if they've seen her at all recently, but if nobody answers the door, but I guess I can only try. I've been told her flat is on the ground floor but I will need to try and work out which window is hers as I can't really start peering into people's windows. Like I say that's about all I can do really!
 
I didn't know the police don't do welfare visits anymore.

About 7 years ago I was worried about a lady who wasn't answering her phone. Her husband of many years had recently, unexpectedly passed away.

I contacted the police for her area and explained my concerns. They visited her home promptly and wouldn't leave until they'd either got a satisfactory response from her & if they didn't they were going to force the front door open. They had a colleague on his way with the necessary equipment to do the latter. She took a while to reply to the police as she was asleep, but thankfully responded to them.

The police called me whilst they were at her home. Firstly to confirm that they were there and then again to let me know that all was fine.

Do you think it's worth trying the police again?

Surely when there's the possibility of something being seriously wrong, they should be first on the scene to check the situation? Especially given this lady's devastating multiple close family bereavements too.
 
I didn't know the police don't do welfare visits anymore.

About 7 years ago I was worried about a lady who wasn't answering her phone. Her husband of many years had recently, unexpectedly passed away.

I contacted the police for her area and explained my concerns. They visited her home promptly and wouldn't leave until they'd either got a satisfactory response from her & if they didn't they were going to force the front door open. They had a colleague on his way with the necessary equipment to do the latter. She took a while to reply to the police as she was asleep, but thankfully responded to them.

The police called me whilst they were at her home. Firstly to confirm that they were there and then again to let me know that all was fine.

Do you think it's worth trying the police again?

Surely when there's the possibility of something being seriously wrong, they should be first on the scene to check the situation? Especially given this lady's devastating multiple close family bereavements too.
Thanks for replying but I’ve updated on a different post - she unfortunately had died and has finally now been laid to rest xxx
 

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