Nov. 9, 2012— -- The family of a man who died suddenly on his front porch in Denver are lashing out at the neighborhood mailman who ignored the corpse because, he claims, he thought it was part of a Halloween display.
Dale Porch, 46, was coming back from working the overnight shift at the Regional Transportation District in Denver on Nov. 2, when he collapsed on the porch steps, his sister-in-law, Kimberly Cordova, told ABC News affiliate KMGH.
"My brother-in-law walked up these steps, got to this step here and collapsed," said Cordova. She pointed to the mailbox just a few feet away. "So, the mailman literally was right here, and he (Porch) was right here collapsed on this step."
Porch's family is upset because, they say, the mail carrier must have walked by Porch's body in order to deliver the mail, but failed to report anything to authorities or call for help, according to KMGH.
"I don't know how he sleeps at night," said Hedy Porch, the man's wife.
Porch's family did not return calls from ABC News for comment.
The U.S. Postal Service said in a statement that the worker felt terrible about ignoring Porch's body, but thought that it was part of a Halloween display. Halloween was Oct. 31.
"We do know the carrier delivered mail to the house that day, and he remembered seeing something he thought was related to Halloween. When the carrier learned that was not the case, he was shocked and extremely upset," the statement read.
Porch's wife told KMGH the mailman told her, too, that he believed Porch was part of the Halloween decorations.
The Postal Service said the man was "conscientious and dedicated" and someone who "would certainly help a customer if he knew they were in need."