POLK CITY (FOX 13) - Deputies say Bill Reiss was murdered by a FEMA contractor but now FEMA won't pay for the damage its contractor came to inspect after Hurricane Irma.
An exclusive report from FOX 13’s Lloyd Sowers caught the eye of a congressman who says he wants to get justice for Bill Reiss's family.
Reiss's daughter, Trina Urso and her husband, Sal got a call from FEMA Wednesday, the day after they sat down with FOX 13 to discuss their case.
Until Wednesday, they hadn't heard from FEMA in two months.
FEMA said it won't pay because Reiss, the homeowner, is deceased. The Ursos’ reply has been, “Yes, because he was killed by your contractor.”
So now Congressman Dennis Ross (R-Lakeland) has stepped in.
“That is huge. I don't know exactly what all that entails but I’m so hopeful because we weren't getting anywhere and you helped us get more than in two months so I’m hoping these are steps in the right direction,” Congressman Ross said. “We're researching this now, we’ve got calls into FEMA. We're going to be looking at the rules… and then make a plea to the president for help for this family.”
The family says they hadn't threatened to sue. All they want is for the house to be fixed; the very same thing Bill Reiss wanted before he was killed, allegedly by that FEMA contractor.
A FEMA spokesman told FOX 13 that if the resident is deceased they won't pay to fix the home, no matter how they died.
The congressman says this is way outside of what's normal and the home should be fixed.