Cathy Boone passed away in January last year in a shelter, unaware of the fortune that she inherited.
“It just didn’t make any sense to me,” Boone’s father, Jack Spithall said. “That money just sitting there – and she needed help in the worst way.”
Boone grew up in the Portland area, and her parents separated when she was young.
During her adult life, she struggled with drugs and her mental health. Her father described her as a “lost soul”.
When her mother passed away in 2016, Cathy relapsed into drug abuse, according to her father.
Representatives of her mother’s estate attempted to locate her but were unsuccessful.
They contacted her via Facebook and phone, and reached out to other family members, and took out advertisements in the local newspaper.
A private investigator was even hired to trace Boone, but they were unable to find her.
As a result, the unclaimed money - $884,407 in total - was transferred to the Department of State Lands, according to KGW.
It is not clear whether Boone was aware that the money was hers or if she knew the correct channels to go through in order to receive it, her father said.
“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,” Claudia Ciobanu, a spokesperson for the department, said. “This is a unique case and we sympathize with the family.”
Boone’s two biological children and other family members could have claims to the cash, KGW said.