POLK CITY (FOX 13) - The family of a Polk County man, allegedly killed by a FEMA inspector, is furious. They say FEMA won't pay to fix the murdered man’s house, even the damage done during the murder, because the homeowner has died.
Trina and Sal Urso say they've made numerous calls to FEMA to explain how Trina's dad, Bill Reiss, died. Detectives say Reiss was shot to death by FEMA sub-contractor Gerjuan Jackson.
Their father’s roommate was also wounded and later died.
Jackson came to Reiss's cabin in Polk City to estimate storm damage from Hurricane Irma.
“My dad let him in the house because of his badge, he trusted him in his house because he wore that badge," Trina Urso said.
Deputies say Jackson went in and saw Reiss's gun collection, bought two firearms from him, and then came back months later with two accomplices to steal the rest of the gun collection and kill Reiss.
As the sheriff announced the arrests, he had questions about how this could happen.
"FEMA, we've been trying to call you but your customer service queue is not good," Sheriff Judd said in a press conference back in January.
FEMA now tells the Ursos it won't fix the house because Reiss is dead.
“Because he passed away, it's null and void. But he passed away because one of their employees killed him!” Trina said.
They say FEMA's customer service representatives just quote the agency’s policy. They've asked to speak to managers and have been told someone will call them back.
“It's now been two months, no calls from FEMA at all," Trina said. “I want to get the house fixed, the damages, because otherwise, he died for nothing, because that's all he was trying to do, was to get the damages fixed."
A FEMA representative confirmed to FOX 13 only the people who lived in the residence at the time of the storm are eligible to collect funds to repair damages.
The Ursos say their next move may be to contact members of Congress for help.