The Pryor Times

Points of Interest

December 27, 2011

Mass. gifted $178K in abandoned safe

LAWRENCE, Mass. — More than $178,000 in cash found inside an abandoned safe here three years ago has been awarded to the state to pay for nursing home costs incurred by the safe's original owner in her elderly years.

The safe had been removed from a building that once housed a shoe store owned by Sally Daher, who died in 2001. It was discovered in November of 2008 by firefighters in a vacant lot.

Several people, including the tow truck driver who hauled the safe to police headquarters, and relatives of Daher filed claims for the $178,456 in cash.

But a judge ruled that the money belonged to the safe's deceased owner and since she had few assets to pay for her medical bills during her 10-year nursing home stay, it should rightly go to the state's Medical Assistance Division.

State law allows for health care costs to be recouped from a person's probate estate.

Ken Daher, one of Sally Daher's surviving children, said if the state was owed any money, the family would not fight payment.

"I am ecstastic. This the best Christmas present I could get," said Daher. "My mother wouldn't have wanted money owed or a handout in a million years."

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Points of Interest