Homeless Woman Dies Apparently Unaware Of Her Own $884,000 Fortune

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Melanie Wilcox Contributor
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A homeless woman in Portland died in January 2020 apparently not knowing the state of Oregon held more than $800,000 of her unclaimed money, KGW8 reported.

Cathy Boone, 49, lived on the streets of Astoria and regularly stayed at the Astoria Warming Shelter, according to KGW8.

Court records indicate an attorney and personal representative assigned to her mother’s estate tried finding Boone and posted advertisements online and in the local newspaper, KGW8 reported. They also reportedly hired a private investigator who could not locate her.

A Clatsop County judge sent $884,407 of the estate’s assets to the Department of State Lands, which handles unclaimed money from heirs who cannot be found or refuse payment. Her father said it’s not clear if Boone knew about the money or how to access it, KGW8 reported.

“It just didn’t make any sense to me. That money was just sitting there, and she needed help in the worst way,” Boone’s father Jack Spithill told KGW8.

After Boone’s parents separated when she was young, Spithill remarried and moved to Texas, according to KGW8. He tried staying connected to his daughter, who he said struggled with mental health issues and drug abuse, KGW8 reported.(RELATED: Portland Resumes Homeless Camp Removal As Needles And Trash Pile Up)

“I attribute it almost all to drugs, but I think she also had some mental health issues and the combination of the two didn’t work out for her very well,” Spithill told KGW8. “She had a rough life but when she was good, she was really good.”

Boone volunteered at downtown Portland’s nonprofit Sisters of the Road Café before moving to Astoria to be near her mother, who passed away, KGW8 reported. Cathy relapsed into drug abuse shortly after, according to KGW8.