Woman, 49, died homeless despite Oregon having $884,000 of her unclaimed inheritance

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A woman died at a homeless shelter while $884,000 of her inheritance money went unclaimed in a state bank account.

Cathy Boone, 49, who had lived on the streets of Astoria, Oregon, died at a shelter on January 13 last year, despite being the heir to a small fortune in her mother’s estate.

Her grieving father Jack Spithall described how his daughter’s adult life had seen her struggle with a range of mental health issues and substance abuse.

He told KGW News: ‘I just didn’t feel like it. That money was just there – and she needed help in the worst way.”

Cathy Boone, 49, who lived on the streets of Astoria, Oregon, before she died in January

Cathy Boone, 49, who lived on the streets of Astoria, Oregon, before she died in January

Her grieving father Jack Spithall described how his daughter's adult life had seen her struggle with a range of mental health issues and substance abuse

Her grieving father Jack Spithall described how his daughter’s adult life had seen her struggle with a range of mental health issues and substance abuse

Mrs. Boone moved to the city of Astoria, where her mother lived, after her parents' divorce scheiding

Mrs. Boone moved to the city of Astoria, where her mother lived, after her parents’ divorce scheiding

Originally raised in Portland, Ms. Boone volunteered at the Sisters of the Road non-profit café for several years before moving to the town of Astoria, where her mother lived, following her parents’ divorce.

But in 2016, after her mother’s death, Ms. Boone relapsed into drug use and began living on the streets.

Mr Spithall went on: ‘She had a hard life, but when she was good she was also very good.’

Ms. Boone’s father said he tried to keep in touch with his daughter but was unable to reach her after her relapse.

Representatives of her mother’s estate also tried to contact Ms. Boone, but were unsuccessful.

Newspaper ads were tried and a private detective was even hired to track down Boone, but they couldn’t find her.

As a result, the unclaimed money — $884,407 in total — was turned over to the Department of State Lands, according to KGW.

It’s not clear if Boone knew the money belonged to her or if she knew the proper channels to receive it, her father said.

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

Mr Spithall said his daughter

Mr Spithall said his daughter “had a rough life” and that he had tried to keep in touch with her

In 2016, after her mother's death, Ms Boone relapsed into drug use and began living on the streets

In 2016, after her mother’s death, Ms Boone relapsed into drug use and began living on the streets

Ms. Boone, who initially grew up in Portland, volunteered for several years at the Sisters of the Road non-profit cafe

Ms Boone, who initially grew up in Portland, volunteered for several years at the Sisters of the Road non-profit cafe

Mr Spithall added: ‘When she had no connection whatsoever with family or friends and she was on drugs, I think she was really a lost soul.

“The resources are there, but I don’t think she was going to approach them on her own, but there were plenty of people who could have given her some help that could have made a difference.”

Claudia Ciobanu, spokesperson for the Department of State Lands, told the New York Post: ‘Given a year and a half of effort by the personal representative and the lawyer for this particular estate, the state can’t really do much more.

“This is a unique case and we sympathize with the family.”

Boone’s two biological children and other family members could claim the money, KGW said.

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