CARSON CITY (CBS13) – A recluse died alone in June with only $200 in his bank account, but it turns out he was hoarding lots of gold inside his simple Carson City home – $7 million worth to be exact.
The Baxters lived across the street from Walter Samaszko Jr. for more than 50 years, and they barely ever talked to him.
He mostly kept to himself, and they certainly never suspected that inside his home, he was holding on to million and millions of dollars worth of pure gold.
She isn’t a gold prospector, but Sondra Baxter helped make one of the biggest gold discoveries in Carson City.
“I can’t tell you how excited we were the day we found it,” she said. “They were gorgeous. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen uncirculated $20 gold coins.”
Samaszko, 69, died alone in June. Sondra was helping the real estate agent, her friend, sort through her neighbor’s belongings when they stumbled upon the end of the rainbow.
“He had stacks of these metal boxes” she said.
They were filled to the brim with rolls of gold coins. The boxes were hidden throughout the entire home.
“We were all just absolutely dumbfounded,” Sondra said.
It’s estimated that Samaszko had left behind at least $7 million worth of gold. The gold coins had been minted as early as the 1840s in such countries as Mexico, England, Austria and South Africa.
Carson City Clerk-Recorder Alan Glover says it’s the biggest discovery he’s seen in his career. Now, he’s working to make sure the jackpot goes to Samaszko’s closest living relative, a first cousin living in San Rafael.
“He kept a large amount of records,” Glover said. “He definitely knew what he was doing in collecting gold. It was amazing.”
Like any good story, this one is a mystery. Why was Samaszko holding on to so much gold? How did he get it? And why did he have so many other strange possessions? Cans and cans of tuna fish, box after box of laundry detergent, and nearly $12,000 in cash, all in $1 bills.
We may never know.
And for Sondra, she had to answer the one question we all were thinking.
“Did you ever think about taking off and running?” CBS13’s Ben Sosenko asked her Tuesday.
“Who wouldn’t?” she said, laughing.
The house has been sold and we’ve been told all the gold is now gone, but still there’s a little thought left in your head that something could still be hiding in there, somewhere.