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Homeless Woman Died Without Claiming Inheritance

Before her death in January 2020, Cathy Boone had been living on the streets for years, struggling with drug abuse and mental illness. But for her father, Jack Spithill, said the tragedy was multiplied tenfold by the revelation that she died without collecting any of the inheritance she was due after her mother’s death, an amount that totaled over $900,000.

Her father said, “It just didn’t make any sense to me. That money was just sitting there, and she needed help in the worst way. I think my failure to recognize her mental health issues. I kind of gave up on her because of the drugs and I shouldn’t have done that.”

Spithill said that after he lost touch with Boone, he was unsure if she even knew she was entitled to an inheritance, or if so, how to go about collecting. Court records say that after her mother died, estate representatives tried to contact Boone via phone and email, spoke to other family members, sent her messages via Facebook, and even ran ads in the newspaper … to no effect. They even hired a private investigator, but came up empty.

That Boone was entitled to any sort of money was news to those who knew her best. “She was a special person as far as I’m concerned,” said Donny Holder, a friend who shared cigarettes and coffee with Boone at the local McDonald’s. “She was a sweetheart … I fell in love with her.”

Local public guardian Chris Rosin says Boone might’ve gotten help if the court could’ve established her inability to care for herself, but added it’s a steep benchmark to clear without criminal charges or urgent medical needs. Johnathan Kvale, another friend with similar struggles said, “We’re not just statistics. These are good folks. It’s just circumstances.”

Possible Preaching Angle:

1) Inheritance - Regardless of anyone's earthly circumstances, if they put their faith in Christ and receive the gift of salvation, they have an eternal inheritance. 2) Body of Christ; Caring – As members of the church, we should all be willing to pay special attention to the helpless whom God brings into our lives.

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