Dying Loner Leaves Behind $260K in Cash

Surprise inheritance goes to long-lost granddaughter

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 17, 2008 12:12 PM CDT

(Newser) – A peripatetic Chicago-area retiree who spent the past few years living out of a van left a surprise when he died in a motel room last March: $263,000 in small bills in a vinyl suitcase. Police searched for months for an heir to 82-year-old John Grant’s life savings, stashed away in $5 to $50 bills. Eventually they tracked down the former mechanic's granddaughter, now 27, who hadn't seen him since she was 9, the Tribune reports.

Sarah Snyder recalled Grandpa John’s summer visits in her childhood, when he took her fishing, but didn’t know why he had disappeared or that he had died. Now, Snyder, who works as a bank teller, is using the money to study international business. "It's horrible the way it had to happen," she said. "Yet it's really been a blessing in my life. It's giving me an opportunity to pursue my dreams."

The cash went to the education of John Grant's granddaughter.
The cash went to the education of John Grant's granddaughter.   (Shutterstock)
The money was in cash.
The money was in cash.   (Shutterstock)
John Grant left a suitcase of $263,000 in his motel room.
John Grant left a suitcase of $263,000 in his motel room.   (Shutterstock)
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