A Lower 9th Ward man who saw his mother die on the roof of their home as Hurricane Katrina's floodwaters rose in their neighborhood, returned Thursday and found their house collapsed and her skeletal remains in the rubble, police said.
The body was tentatively identified by police as Joyce Green, after her son found her remains in the debris outside their home about 3:30 p.m. in the 1600 block of Tennessee Street, said officer Juan Barnes, a police spokesman.
Her son, whose name wasn't released by police, told police he and another relative had taken refuge on the roof of the home with his mother after the Industrial Canal levee broke, police said.
He told police his mother died before he and the other relative were rescued and evacuated from New Orleans.
After returning to New Orleans, the son told police that he went to the home Thursday and found his mother's remains. The grieving son said he recognized her body from the clothes she was wearing at the time she died.
Imagine the horror and the guilt this man must feel. Yes, his mother had already passed on when he left her, but to know that her body lay in the trash and debris, unceremoniously disposed of in the heap of garbage--that has to weigh heavily on his mind.
And how did this happen? How could a human body remain unfound, undetected in the middle of a major city for four months? How could this happen in America? What are we going to do to protect this city from ever having this happen again?
Sadly, this story is being repeated over and over as people come back to New Orleans. The body count is not complete.
The suffering brought by Hurricane Katrina continues.