In a horror story that no one ever likes to imagine, the Ferraz do Amaral family of Orlando, Florida was found dead in their garage this past weekend after being there for close to three weeks before anyone noticed.
Forty-five-year-old Marcio Ferraz do Amaral and his wife, 34-year-old Cledione, were behind on their rent, according to authorities, and had recently run into money troubles. He was a pilot and she worked part-time for Disney. The two lived with their 10-year-old daughter in a rented home.
Though police suspect that this was a murder-suicide, it was three weeks before anyone came by to check on the family, all three of whom were found in the garage. Such a tragedy.
Apparently, it was the missing rent that finally forced the landlord to go look. How is this even possible? Wasn't a 10-year-old missing at her school? Didn't they have family who hadn't heard from them?
It's impossible to glean the truth from the sparse details available, but it does send a chill down the spine of any parent. We'd all like to think that if we -- or our children -- were to go missing, someone would care. Even if we do live far from family or close friends. We'd like to believe that is true, wouldn't we?
This family was Brazilian and perhaps lived far from their loved ones. Still, they had a life here -- co-workers, schoolmates, neighbors -- so why did no one check?
This is such a lesson for all of us. If you doubt something, check. Swing by your neighbor's house. Ask how they are. Care more. This is just a horrifying story on so many levels, especially with a child involved. Even if there was no stranger who broke into the home and no imminent danger to the community, it does highlight the sad ways we are all on our own, and it seems so terribly wrong.
My heart goes out to the Ferraz do Amaral family members who have to deal with this horrible tragedy.
How do you think this went three weeks without notice?
Image via Anthony Easton/Flickr