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Executor Excavates Estate on Hog Farm

August 01, 1993| Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. — After retired hog farmer John Duncan died last year and left all his possessions to orphans and troubled children, his executor had to turn excavator to bring all the assets to light.

Bob Lotz knew his friend's money wouldn't be in bank accounts, CDs, stocks or bonds. He had to go looking for it all over--and under--the farm.

"He had a checking account at one time," Lotz said. "But he'd only let it get $2,000 or so and then he'd take $500 out. He was afraid the government would cut his (Social Security) check."

Duncan would keep $50- and $100-bills in the center pocket of his bib overalls, Lotz said. He vowed to bury the rest, saying he didn't care if it was ever found.

While other executors spend their time freezing bank accounts and liquidating assets, Lotz, an unemployed architect, turned Duncan's Peachland property upside down for 13 months after Duncan died in March, 1992.

He found $2,080 under the potato bin; $1,580 turned up in a medicine tube and Wheaties box under grass clippings where he'd been mowing.

There was $7,000 in plastic and paper bags inside a pumphouse cinder block, and $1,800 in a peanut butter jar secreted in a building column.

In the end, the North Carolina Baptist Children's Homes, which operates 13 homes, said it got $13,206.45 in cash through Lotz's efforts, plus $15,000 from the sale of Duncan's home.

The final installment was 20 pennies and a dime Lotz found in a snuff can.

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