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Homeless man with inheritance suffered tragedy

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This image provided by David Lundberg shows Max Melitzer in Salt Lake City, a homeless man living on the streets of Salt Lake City who was found recently by a private investigator and told he had a large inheritance waiting for him, has flown to New York to meet his family.(AP Photo/David Lundberg)


SALT LAKE CITY >> A homeless man whose rags-to-riches story made international headlines once suffered a devastating family tragedy that may have led to his life on the streets of Salt Lake City.

A friend of Max Melitzer tells the Deseret News that he lost his wife and two friends in a July 1990 car crash.

Melitzer was driving through Wyoming when he lost control of his car, the newspaper reports.

Karol Behling says Melitzer was deeply affected by the loss of his wife, Janice. She says Melitzer’s life as a transient seemed to begin after the crash. Behling’s deceased husband knew Melitzer for more than 20 years.

Last week, Melitzer learned his deceased brother had left him a sizable inheritance. He’s since left Utah to reunite with family in New York.


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