Watch: Family's Belongings In Limbo
A former Watertown woman has traveled across the country to reclaim her parents' belongings.
It's not going well.
Barbara Stress-Claytor - who is 74 and now lives in the southwest - has been back in Watertown a week and a half, trying to recover some of the personal property inside her parents' former home on Seymour Street.
"I don't care about the house at this point," she said. "I just want my father and mother's stuff."
The problem is - the house has been unoccupied since 1990. As Barbara explains it, even with no one living there, the house was tended to, neighbors kept an eye on it, and until recently her sister, Rhoda, paid the taxes on it.
When that stopped, the city took possession - and now has control over both the house and its contents.
It is, as city comptroller James Mills said, uncharted waters.
"Right now," Mills said, "We do not have proof the belongings should go to her or her sister."
7 News was unable to reach Barbara's sister for comment.
Barbara has shown the city proof that she's her parents' daughter, but it apparently wasn't enough. It's not clear what will happen to the contents of the home if Barbara is unsuccessful.
Saturday, May 25, 2013, Watertown, NY
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