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Man claims his severe losses came from contractor, not flood

3 months 3 weeks 6 days ago September 23, 2016 Sep 23, 2016 Friday, September 23 2016 September 23, 2016 4:04 PM in The Investigative Unit
Source: WBRZ

DENHAM SPRINGS- A man fortunate enough not to lose everything in the flood, managed to lose everything after.

Ray Riley blames the State's Shelter at Home Program and one of the contractors doing the work. What should have been a relatively simple job, turned his family's life into a nightmare.

The Mayor and Police Chief describe the Riley family as pillars of the Denham Springs community. When they caught wind of his story, they did everything in their power to help him.

A small debris pile still remains in front of Riley's home. The Riley family knows they are some of the most fortunate. Water only came into the back portion of their house.

"There were certain rooms that were not damaged by the flood," Riley said. "I had moved all of my possessions in those rooms that they were not supposed to touch."

Last week, contractors from Core Construction showed up to begin working on the property.

"I took precautions," Riley said. "I locked those rooms that they were not supposed to be in, and I told them not to touch those rooms."

But, when Riley returned home, he returned to his house stripped to the studs. Things he salvaged were gone.

"My college diploma, everything," Riley said. "The top of our closets, everything was gutted."

Neighbor Jessica Lomas remembers that day well as workers removed the unflooded debris from Riley's home.

"There was a girl parked right here in front of my grandmother's yard," Lomas said "I came out and asked why she was parked there and said she was watching them."

Lomas never imagined what she was witnessing was turning the Riley's lives upside down.

"I didn't have any idea it was stuff he could save," Lomas said. "My heart goes out to my neighbor."

That's when the Riley's reached out to the Mayor, Police Chief and the Governor's Office about what occurred.

"What we have to do is determine if there was intent to deprive the Rileys out of their property," Denham Springs Police Chief Shannon Womack said. "There has to be criminal intent."

Currently the interim Denham Springs Police Chief says, his office is putting the finishing touches on the police report and will see if there's enough to hold the contractor accountable.

"We'll submit it up our chain and submit it to the district attorney's office to see if there are grounds for prosecution," Womack said.

As Riley looks back on what happened to him, he feels like sheltering at home will be the last thing he can do as he now faces a new disaster.

"What the program was supposed to help me do, it didn't help me do," Riley said.

We requested a statement from Core Construction, but did not hear back by news time.

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