Mysterious tale of reclusive heiress takes another turn

She was an elderly, reclusive railroad heiress who was the subject of endless speculation, rumor and gossip before her death in 2011. Even after her passing, the strange life of Huguette Clark continues to fascinate, however.

The most recent twist in her tale comes from the revelation that a homeless man who stood to inherit $19 million from her vast estate was found dead next to railroad tracks in Wyoming.

The 60-year-old man apparently died of hypothermia, dressed in a light jacket though the temperature was down to 10 degrees, officials said. There were no signs of foul play, officials told media outlets.

In his wallet, police found a 10-year-old cashier’s check for a “significant amount.”

The dead man was a great-grandson of William Andrews Clark, the railroad and mining titan who was Huguette Clark’s father.

The man had no immediate family and had not been in contact with his brothers or sisters in decades, officials said. They also said they weren’t certain if he had been staying with transients who live in the railroad overpass where his body was found.

Hugette Clark left behind an estate valued at over $300 million when she died two years ago at the age of 104. She left much of her fortune to a museum, art foundation and physicians and nurses.

In her last two decades, reports swirled that her California and Connecticut mansions sat unused, as did her 42-room Fifth Avenue apartment that overlooked New York City’s Central Park, all while she apparently paid millions of dollars to live in a hospital.

Many observers wonder if her estate was divided as she wished or if it was divided to suit her caretakers.

Source: The New York Post, “Homeless heir to Huguette Clark’s $19M fortune found dead in Wyoming,” Jeane Macintosh, Dec. 31, 2012

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