49-year-old passed Cathy Boone away in January 2020 while staying at a local warming shelter. Boone reportedly struggled with substance abuse and mental health issues.
Boone moved to Astoria, Oregon to live with her mother after her parents separated. When her mother died in 2016, representatives for her estate unsuccessfully tried to locate Boone. After newspaper ads went unanswered and a private investigator couldn’t locate her, the money was transferred to the Department of State Lands.
“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,” a spokesperson for the department, Claudia Ciobanu, said. “This is a unique case and we sympathize with the family.”
According to Boone’s father, Jack Spithill, it’s unclear if Boone knew that she had inherited the $884,407 or if she even understood how the process worked.
“I don’t think she would approach them on her own but there were enough people who could have given her some help,” he said.
It’s also uncertain if Boone’s family will be able to retrieve the money or where the funds will go. But, along with her father, Boone is survived by two biological children.