PORTLAND, MI -- Instead of delivering the mail, a US postal employee in Eaton County is under investigation for hoarding it.
Investigators made a surprising discovery at the United States Postal Service worker's home in Sunfield this past Saturday.
A significant amount of stolen first class and standard mail was found inside the home in the 300 block of 3rd St.
Cheryl Everitt, 42, has been a USPS worker since November 2015. She's suspected of hoarding the mail from her Portland route as far back as July 2017. The mail was from Portland ZIP code 48875.
A lot of the mail was found wet and damaged, some even burned.
"It doesn't surprise me as far as that goes. There's all kinds of weird things happening right next to you and you don't even know it," said Kurt Voeks, a resident of Portland.
A relative found the mail and then contacted authorities after Everitt moved out of the home. Jeff Arney, a spokesperson for the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General said there's no clear sign Everitt kept the packages for monetary gain.
"Postal workers are under a lot of stress a lot of times too so any a number of things can happen just based on stress," Voeks said.
Arney said that in other postal worker theft cases he's seen, workers will keep mail because they're overworked and overwhelmed with deliveries. Although, he doesn't want to speculate this is the reason why Everitt did what she did.
In a statement to News 10, Arney said that the majority of postal worker personnel are dedicated to moving mail properly and this type of alleged behavior is not tolerated.
Here is the full statement:
“The vast majority of U.S. Postal Service personnel are dedicated, hard-working public servants dedicated to moving mail to its proper destination who would never consider engaging in any form of criminal behavior. This type of alleged behavior within the Postal Service is not tolerated and when a postal employee betrays that trust of the American people, the special agents in the U.S. Postal Service, Office of Inspector General vigorously investigate these matters as we did in this instance and work with local, state and federal prosecutors to hold accountable those employees who violate that public trust."
Everitt is on administrative leave right now until the investigation is complete. She did admit to handling the mail, but has not been arrested.
The Office of the Inspector General will send the completed case to the US Attorney's Office to determine if Everitt will be prosecuted.