As authorities try to pin down a motive in what the New York Times calls Cesar Sayoc's alleged "spree of bubble-wrapped terror," members of his estranged family are trying to convince him to seek mental health care and retain a good lawyer. Sayoc—who CNN notes is expected to be formally charged with five federal crimes Monday afternoon—hasn't been on decent terms with his mom and two sisters for four years, but they sent a handwritten note Sunday to the Florida detention center where he's being held (though guards turned it away). "Despite the lack of contact and all of these years, they love him, and they only want to make sure he gets the help that he needs," says Ronald Lowy, a lawyer for the family, who himself has represented Sayoc in the past.
Seeking help for Sayoc, 56, isn't a new development. "The family has always from a young age encouraged him to get treatment," Lowy tells USA Today. "He refuses. He gets angry. He says, 'I hate you, you think I'm abnormal.' He just won't see reality." One of his sisters tells the Times, "I thank God he hasn't hurt anybody" and agrees her brother has pushed back on getting help for years. She also notes his troubles began when his father left the family when he was a boy, followed by his evolution into an "introverted teenager" who ate alone in his room and may have struggled with dyslexia. The final rift between Sayoc and his family came when his mother told him he couldn't use her address anymore to get his mail. More here on what appears to be a troubled life, including his nomadic lifestyle and, finally, when he "just started getting weirder." (Sayoc has a long criminal history.)