A 49-year-old Oregon woman died in a homeless shelter without being aware that she had inherited $884,000 from her mother. Cathy Boone never claimed her inheritance, and her family and friends are not sure if she even knew about it.
Boone’s father revealed that his daughter had problems with her mental health and needed help. “She had a rough life but when she was good, she was really good,” said her father, Jack Spithill.
Boone went through a difficult time as a child when her parents divorced. Her father later remarried, but continued to keep in touch with his daughter. Boone grew up in Portland, where she volunteered for a non-profit organization. She later moved to Astoria, Oregon, to live with her mother, who passed away in 2016.
After her mother’s death, Boone isolated herself and lost contact with family and friends. She could not cope with her mother’s death and had problems with her mental health. She had been living on the streets for some time and regularly visited a homeless shelter, the Astoria Warming Shelter, where she made several friends.
Her mother’s lawyers had previously made several attempts to contact her to report on her legacy. They left messages for her on Facebook, called her on the phone, placed advertisements in local newspapers, contacted her relatives and even hired a private investigator, but they could not find her.
Since no one found Boone, her estate was taken over by the state, as is the custom in similar situations.
Spithill was devastated for his daughter and said in an interview, “It just didn’t make any sense to me. That money was just sitting there, and she needed help in the worst way.”
Family and friends had no idea that she had inherited so much money, and they could not be sure whether she herself was aware of it.
Boone had made many friends at the shelter, all of whom spoke of her with great affection, but they didn’t know much about her situation either. One man, Donny Holder, whom she met often, said he thought she was a very nice woman, even had some photographs of her, and said, “I fell in love with her.”
Another friend, Glen Lonquist, said that Boone was smiling all the time, despite going through the worst period of her life. She was rarely seen crying in the hostel.
After her mother’s death, she lived a hard life, having had to scramble for even the most basic necessities, with an inheritance of almost $1 million waiting for her. Her father says it’s possible that she had no idea about the money.
But Spithill said he regretted not helping his daughter. He gave up on her and refused to acknowledge that she had serious mental health problems when he could have helped make her life better.
Lawyers spent more than a year trying to find Boone, who was just one step away from inheriting the money. All she had to do was contact her mother’s lawyers.
It was only after her death that her family and friends realized how difficult it must have been for Boone, who had mental health problems, to be on the streets and how much she needed their help.