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W.Va. letter carrier receives Postmaster General Hero Award

July 22, 2021 GMT

BLUEFIELD, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia letter carrier’s concern for a customer led to police finding the woman dead inside her home — and earned him recognition from the U.S. Postmaster General.

Robert Williams was presented the Postmaster General Hero Award at the Bluefield Post Office on Tuesday, according to a news release from the U.S. Postal Service.

In January, he noticed the customer hadn’t picked up her prescription package or mail for a few days. Williams knocked on her door but didn’t get a response. He also checked in with a neighbor to see if they had seen her recently.

Williams then told his manager, who contacted law enforcement. Police found the woman dead when they checked her house.

“Williams’ concern for his customer’s welfare and his knowledge of her habits helped the customer to be discovered, aiding the extended family during a tragic situation,” the service’s statement said.

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Postmaster General Louis DeJoy congratulated Williams for his award in a letter, The Register-Herald reported.

Williams has been with the Postal Service for about 13 years, according to the newspaper. This wasn’t the first time he jumped into action to care for customers while on his delivery route.

Just before Christmas one year early in his career, he alerted residents to get out of an apartment building that had caught on fire. He gave his winter gear to people who went outside unprepared for the cold weather.

“I called the fire department and stayed with them until they got there,” Williams said. “They were having shortness of breath, so I was trying to make sure everything was OK with them.

“And to this day, when they see me outside, it’s ‘Hey! How are you doing, Robert?’”