News, Culture & Society

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

‘The money was just sitting there and she needed help:’ Woman, 49, died homeless despite Oregon sitting on her $884,000 unclaimed inheritance

  •  Cathy Boone, 49, had been living on the streets of Astoria in Oregon
  •  Ms Boone, who is originally from Portland, died at a homeless shelter in January 
  • She had $884,000 of inheritance money unclaimed in a state bank account

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

Cathy Boone, 49, who had been living on the streets of Astoria, Oregon, died at a shelter on January 13 this year despite owning a small fortune in inheritance money from her mother’s estate.

Her grief-stricken father Jack Spithall described how his daughter’s adult life had seen her struggle with a series of mental health issues and drug abuse.  

He told KGW News: ‘It just didn’t make any sense to me. That money just sitting there – and she needed help in the worst way.’   

Cathy Boone, 49, who had been living on the streets of Astoria, Oregon, before she passed away in January

Her grief-stricken father Jack Spithall described how his daughter's adult life had seen her struggle with a series of mental health issues and drug abuse

Her grief-stricken father Jack Spithall described how his daughter’s adult life had seen her struggle with a series of mental health issues and drug abuse

Ms Boone moved to the city of Astoria, where her mother lived, following the divorce of her parents

Ms Boone moved to the city of Astoria, where her mother lived, following the divorce of her parents

For several years, Ms Boone, who initially grew up in Portland, volunteered at the non-profit Sisters of the Road cafe before moving to the city of Astoria, where her mother lived, following the divorce of her parents.

However in 2016, following her mother’s death, Ms Boone relapsed into drug abuse and began living on the streets.

Mr Spithall continued: ‘She had a rough life but when she was good she was really good.’ 

Ms Boone’s father said he tried to stay connected to his daughter but he was unable to reach her following her relapse.

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

Newspaper ads and a private investigator were also unable to reach Ms Boone and her unclaimed money was transferred to the Department of State Lands.  

Mr Spithall said his daughter 'had a rough life' and that he had tried to stay connected with  her

Mr Spithall said his daughter ‘had a rough life’ and that he had tried to stay connected with  her

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

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

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

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

Mr Spithall added: ‘When she didn’t have any connection to family or friends and she was using drugs then I think she was a truly lost soul.

‘The resources are there but I don’t think she would go approach them on her own but there were enough people who could have given her some help that might 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 taken by the personal representative and the attorney for this particular estate, there really isn’t much more that the state could do.

‘This is a unique case and we sympathize with the family.’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk