Homeless millionaire found dead before he could be told about his fortune: Body of 'heir' to reclusive Huguette Clark's $300m discovered frozen to death under railway bridge
Timothy Henry Gray's body was discovered by children sledding under a Union Pacific Railroad overpass in Evanston, WyomingGray, 60 was a long-lost relative of the reclusive and eccentric New York heiress Huguette Clark, and stood to inherit $19 million of her $300 million fortune
16:45 GMT, 30 December 2012
A long-lost relative of the reclusive and eccentric New York heiress Huguette Clark, who stood to inherit $19 million of her $300 million fortune has been found dead from hypothermia in rural Wyoming.
Wealthy: Huguette Clark left an estate valued at $306.5million when she died last year
Timothy Henry Gray's body was discovered by children sledding under a Union Pacific Railroad overpass in Evanston, in the southwest of the state on Thursday, as the temperatures hit 10 degrees.
Gray, 60, was the half great-nephew of Clark, who died in May 2011 aged 104 and tragically was unaware that he was potentially entitled to 6.25 percent of her copper mining fortune, which has been conservatively estimated at 307 million by the administrator of her estate.
Lieutenant Bull Jeffers of the
Evanston Police Department said that there was no evidence of foul play
involved in the death and that Gray was wearing a light jacket.
added that it wasn't clear if Gray was living under the overpass at the
time of his death, however, other homeless people have been known to
camp there during the year.
Gray was an adopted great-grandson of former U.S. Senator William
Andrews Clark, who made his reputation as one of the copper kings of
Montana, who also diversified into banking, building, railroads and
reserves special fame as the founder of Las Vegas.
impressive senator's youngest daughter lived as a recluse in New York
City hospitals for 20 years until her death in 2011 while her palatial
properties across the country sat unused.
Valuable: Ms Clark's three apartments in this New York building are worth a total of $53million
Untouched: The heiress had not visited Bellosguardo in Santa Barbara, California since the 1950s
her will, Huguette Clak bequeathed no money at all to her family,
leaving it all instead to her nurse, goddaughter, attorney, accountant,
hospital, doctor, favourite museum and various employees and an art
foundation she wanted established at her oceanfront estate in Santa
is thought that not one of her relatives had seen her in 40 years,
although some had tried to keep contact with her through holiday cards
and the occasional phone calls.
Because they did not receive a penny in her will, 19 of Clark's relatives stepped forward to challenge her will in a New York court.
A public administrator joined in on behalf of Gray who lawyers had tried to contact about the battle, but all they could find were belongings abandoned in a storage locker – private investigators were not able to find him.
Indeed, even if investigators could not contact Gray and he had been granted a share of the massive inheritance, his spouse or children would have been entitled to it – however he had no wife or kids.
In fact, in spite of his homelessness, Gray had access to money and the coroner said that Gray's wallet contained a cashier's check from 2003, for a 'significant amount.'
Gray's older brother, Jerry, said that Tim had worked as a cowboy and lived in the Rocky Mountain states most of his life.
'He was homeless essentially,' said Jerry to NBC News.
'If we had proper mental health services in this country, we could have notified and known to do something.'
Evanston, Wyoming, where potential Huguette Clark heir Timothy Henry Gray was found dead under a railway overpass
Mysterious life: Except for a small, tight-knit circle, few knew of Clark's existence
Once beautiful: Skin cancer had devastated Clark's once-attractive face, the medical notes reveal
Inheritance: Clark, pictured with her father and sister, inherited her vast wealth from industrialist and senator William Clark
Clark's huge fortune, which came to light in court documents at the end of the year show that she had an $84.5 million estate which she had not visited in more than five years.
The reclusive millionaire abandoned all five of her homes during her last 20 years, instead setting up residence in a New York hospital.
Her valuable estate is at the centre of a bitter legal battle, as her relatives fight to overturn her will which largely divided her fortune between various charities and the nurse who tended her before her death.
Documents filed this week in the Manhattan Surrogate's Court reveal exactly how much is at stake – a fortune valued at $306.5million in all, according to NBC News.
This vast haul is divided between property, investments and her personal possessions including paintings and a huge collection of dolls.
The most valuable item in Ms Clark's estate is 'Bellosguardo', an $84.5million mansion overlooking the ocean in Santa Barbara, California which she had not visited since the 1950s.
Media interest: The Clark family have always
been the subject of media speculation, particularly Huguette in recent
years as many were fascinated by her reclusive lifestyle
Family: U.S. Senator William A. Clark, centre, joins his daughter, Huguette, at the Easter Parade in New York. He left her billions of dollars when he died
More pricey real estate comes in the form of three apartments on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, overlooking Central Park, with a total of 42 rooms between them.
The apartments are valued at a total of $53million – the penthouse suite has already been sold for $24million.
Ms Clark's country house in New Canaan, Connecticut, known as 'Le Beau Chateau', is apparently worth $14.3million.
The home, which she never lived in, has nine bedrooms, a wine cellar, a ballroom and 11 fireplaces.
In addition to the five pieces of blockbuster real estate, Ms Clark apparently owned $79.3million in stocks, trusts and cash.
She also had $75.4million worth of 'personal property' which includes a painting by Monet and a doll collection which is itself worth millions of dollars.
Sprawling: The $84m ocean-side estate of Huguette Clark in Santa Barbara, California, which local campaigners want to turn into an art museum in accordance to her second will
Legal wrangle: Ms Clark has not visited the 21,666 square feet estate in half a century. She abandoned all of her five homes in later life, instead setting up residence in a New York hospital
The valuation, which will be subject to taxes, came as part of the current court case between Ms Clark's longtime nurse, Hadassah Peri, and her great-nieces and great-nephews.
The heiress, whose fortune dervies from her 'robber baron' father, Montana senator W.A. Clark, drew up two separate wills in 2005, aged 98.
The first gave $5million to Ms Peri, but left the bulk of the estate to 'intestate distributees', meaning her closest living relatives.
But the latest, written just six weeks later, deliberately excluded Ms Clark's family and left most of the fortune to an art foundation to be set up at Bellosguardo.
It also included a bequest of around $30million to Ms Peri, a 62-year-old Filipina who earned $131,000 as the millionaire's private caretaker.
In a statement released after Ms Clark's death, the nurse said: 'I was her private duty nurse but also her close friend.
'I knew her as a kind and generous person, with whom I shared many wonderful moments and whom I loved very much.'