Story at a glance

  • An Oregon woman died homeless last year, unaware she had an unclaimed $884,447 inheritance.
  • Cathy Boone, who had been struggling with mental health issues and drug abuse, died in January 2020 in a warming shelter in Astoria, Ore.
  • The inheritance had been left to her by her mother, who died in 2016, but no one was able to locate Boone.

An Oregon woman died homeless last year, unaware she had an unclaimed $884,447 inheritance.

Cathy Boone died in January 2020 in a warming shelter in Astoria, Ore. She had been struggling with mental health issues and drug abuse.

When her mother died in 2016, she left Boone the substantial inheritance, but no one was able to locate her.

“It just didn’t make any sense to me,” said her father, Jack Spithall. “That money just sitting there – and she needed help in the worst way.”


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After her family took out newspaper ads and enlisted the help of a private investigator to no avail, the money was eventually transferred to the Department of State Lands, where it remains unclaimed.

“Given a year and a half of effort taken by the personal representative and the attorney for this particular estate, there really isn’t much more that the state could do,” said Department of State Lands spokeswoman Claudia Ciobanu. “This is a unique case and we sympathize with the family.”

It isn’t known what will happen to the money now that Boone has died, however, she does have two biological children who may have claims to it, according to KGW News.


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Published on Jun 04, 2021