SALT LAKE CITY — A combination of old-fashion pavement pounding and media attention has helped to locate a homeless man who unknowingly inherited a significant sum of money.
David Lundberg, a private investigator and founder of UtahDetective.com, was retained by the family of Max Melitzer after the wanderer inherited a chunk of change that could give him safe haven for the rest of his life.
Melitzer's family lost contact with him in September of 2010 and had to hire the services of an investigator to track him down after he came into his inheritance.
Melitizer has been on the streets for years, floating between Salt Lake City and Ogden and becoming somewhat of a fixture among social service providers such as the Rescue Mission of Salt Lake City.
It was there that Lundberg talked with the mission's house manager, Don Hill, and the quest to locate Melitzer took a turn for the positive.
Hill said Melitzer frequently stays at the mission when he is not venturing north to Ogden.
Based on a tip from a KSL listener, Lundberg said Saturday he found Melitzer at Salt Lake's Pioneer Park, where the homeless man was pushing a large grocery cart stuffed with his personal belongings.
Lundberg got on the phone, called Melitzer's relatives in New York and handed the phone to the man.
"I think he was happy to be finally able to connect with his family in New York."
Lundberg said the man has had a rough stretch of bad luck recently.
"He was beat up. His money was taken. His watch was taken. He's been in kind of a surly element the last couple of years."14 comments on this story
Lundberg found Melitzer a safe place to stay until his family arrives midweek from New York.
"I want to make sure we get him back to New York, hopefully with his family. Get him in a situation where he has a decent place to live, food, pay his medical costs. He can get on with his life and enjoy himself for a change."