"Where is he now?" ask former homeless and street friends.
A private investigator tracks down a homeless man and tells him a long-lost relative has left him a small fortune.
If this were a movie, you'd roll your eyes at the far-fetched plot. But Max Melitzer's story is no Hollywood fantasy. The Utah man was literally pushing a grocery cart filled with his possessions in June when private investigator David Lundberg found him in a Salt Lake City park.
Details quickly emerged: Melitzer was the only survivor of a car crash that killed his wife and two other people in 1990. Before the accident, "he had an apartment, and he had a wife and a life," his friend Karol Behling told the Deseret News. "I don't think he had a place to live after that. I think that's probably when he started the transience."
Melitzer bounced around the Salt Lake area for years, often staying in shelters and occasionally doing odd jobs. That is, until Lundberg found him.
The private investigator told Melitzer that his brother, Morris Melitzer of Schenectady, New York, had died in 2010. Morris, a veteran and a longtime General Electric employee, left Max an estate estimated to be worth $100,000.
Several of his friends in Utah said they haven't been in touch with him since news of the inheritance broke. Lecia Beckstrom knew Melitzer from the time he spent at her family's business, Beckstrom Body Shop in Ogden, Utah.
"We haven't heard a word from him," she said. "No phone call, no nothing. ... I wish he would stop by so we'd know what happened to him."
Jason Florez, leader of the homeless ministry at the Mountain View Christian Assembly of God in Sandy, hasn't seen Melitzer since a meeting with him and Lundberg, the private investigator.
"He said he was going to come back shortly," Florez said. "I just thought he'd want to come back, because it's familiar and to see his friends, but he never came back."
Tags: homeless, bum, inheritance, $100, 000, street people, disappear, money
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah, United States (load item map)
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