For more than a year, bundles of mail piled up outside 99 Black Oak Ridge Road in Wayne. Over the months — from about December 2010 to January 2012 — the house and property had fallen into serious disrepair.
The paint was pealing; the grass grew wild and gutters dangled from the roof.
The owner was a man his seventies that most around town knew only as “Don.” He walked everywhere, including three miles to his favorite diner — the Crossroads Eatery on Erie Avenue in the town’s Mountainview section.
Every day, Donald Domsky would walk three miles to the eatery. The other patrons remembered that he was good at trivia, friendly enough but revealed little about his personal life.
Domsky’s truck had broken down and he refused to accept rides, other patrons of the restaurant said. The owner of the diner would later tell a reporter that Domsky was “reclusive” and “solitary.”
So when Domsky stopped showing up at Crossroads, everyone assumed that he fell ill or moved in with a relative. Perhaps he moved into a nursing home.
Months went by. Bills went unpaid.
A lien was place on the house. Then another.
For months, no red flags were raised.
Then in early 2012, a neighbor said it began to bother her more and more that she hadn’t seen Domsky walking for quite some time. She called police.
Officer found Domsky dead inside a bedroom doorway. The ceiling had caved in and the home had a musty smell about it, according to published reports.
Why it took so long to find Domsky is a mystery. According to one report, a patron of the Crossroads stopped by the house and knocked on the door. When no one answered, the person left.
Domsky didn’t speak to his neighbors. So there was little concern when the mail began to pile up and the grass grew high. Someone complained that the property was unsightly and the township reportedly came by and cut his grass.
In the days after the body was taken away to a funeral home, patrons at the Crossroads began talking about paying for a funeral and burial. See what they told The Record newspaper.