×
Woman who died homeless left behind $884,000 unclaimed inheritance from her mother

Woman who died homeless left behind $884,000 unclaimed inheritance from her mother

Her father, Jack Spithill, revealed that the death of her mother, Patricia Lupton, in 2016 led to her downfall as she began struggling with mental health issues and started abusing drugs. 

A 49-year-old woman tragically died at a homeless shelter in Astoria, Oregon in January 2020 after falling ill. Cathy Boone experienced street life for almost four years before her demise. Her father, Jack Spithill, revealed that the death of her mother, Patricia Lupton, in 2016 led to her downfall as she began struggling with mental health issues and started abusing drugs. 

Following her mother's passage, a court ordered $884,407 of Lupton's estate to be handed over to Boone in 2019. Authorities did their best to contact the 49-year-old but failed to pin down her location. Thus, her massive inheritance was sent back to a state bank, where it lay waiting for Boone to claim it. 

Six months after being awarded the money, Boone, unfortunately, developed breathing problems while living at the Astoria Warming Shelter in Oregon, according to Metro. She later passed away at St Vincent’s Hospital in Portland. It remains unclear if she was aware of the money being hers or if she even understood how to get it, according to Spithill.  



 

He also described his daughter as someone who was having a "rough life" and was in desperate need of money. "It just didn’t make any sense to me. That money was just sitting there, and she needed help in the worst way," he told 12 News. "She had a rough life but when she was good, she was really good."

As for her friends, they apparently weren't even aware that Boone had so much money at her disposal. They revealed that she struggled to survive like many people living in un-sheltered, harsh conditions outside. "We all have our moments but for the most part she had more smiles than cries," said a friend of Boone, Glen Lonquist. 

Boone, who grew up in the Portland area, struggled with mental health at a young age right after her parents separated. Her father, Spithill, who remarried, added, "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." For years, Boone volunteered at a cafe in Portland before moving to Astoria where her mom lived. 



 

Then in 2016, her mother, passed away, which triggered Cathy relapsing into drug abuse, according to Spithill. "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," said Spithill. After Boone was awarded the money, authorities posted advertisements in the local newspaper, emailed family members, messaged her on Facebook, and even tried to reach her phone. 

A private investigator was also hired but even they could not find her. "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," said unclaimed property manager with Oregon State Lands, Claudia Ciobanu. "This is a unique case and we sympathize with the family."

"I don’t think she would approach them on her own but there were enough people who could have given her some help," noted Spithill, who regrets not being able to help his daughter when she was in need. "I think my failure to recognize her mental health issues. I kind of gave up on her because of the drugs and shouldn’t have done that," he noted. 

Cover image source: YouTube | Screenshot KGW News

Recommended for you