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Gold Haul Found At Dead Loner's Nevada Home
Authorities in a US city have been talking about an astounding discovery made at the home of a man who died alone in apparent poverty.
Walter Samaszko Jr left only $200 (£123) in his bank account - but a search of his house in Carson City, Nevada revealed a wealth of treasures including gold bars and coins valued at $7m (£4.3m).
"You never anticipate running into anything like this," clerk-recorder Alan Glover told the Los Angeles Times.
"It was a run-of-the-mill 1,200 sq ft tract home that still had orange shag carpet. This guy was everybody's next-door neighbour."
Mr Samaszko, 69, was described by officials as a loner who went about his business and kept himself to himself. He had been dead for at least a month when he was found by worried neighbours, who alerted officials.
Mr Samaszko, who suffered from heart trouble, had lived in the house since the 1960s. He shared it with his mother until her death in 1992.
Mr Glover said the gold was found by workers clearing the property.
"He was a hoarder. There was everything inside that home you could think of," he said. "The workers found a crawl space from the garage. That led to everything else.
"He was apparently buying gold from a local coin dealer. We found it in sealed boxes marked 'books'.
"We also found gold wrapped in tin foil stored in ammunition boxes. There was just more and more. We found a family silver set with rolls of $20s and Mexican five-peso coins."
The gold coins had been minted as early as the 1840s in countries that also included England, Austria and South Africa.
Based on its weight, Mr Glover said the haul was worth around $7m, but the figure could be higher as some of the coins appeared to be collector's items.
Mr Samaszko's entire fortune will go to his nearest relative, a first cousin who lives in San Rafael, California. She was tracked down by investigators using a list of people who had attended his mother's funeral 20 years before.
"This will be good for her," said Mr Glover. "She's a substitute school teacher who lives in an apartment."