Storage facility auctions dying mom's heirlooms

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by Chris Willis, Unit 8 Investigator

KREM.com

Posted on April 3, 2014 at 7:56 AM

Updated Thursday, Apr 3 at 8:07 AM

LAKE OSWEGO, Ore. -- A wife and mother from Lake Oswego is fighting late-stage cancer. She got her things in order, and put some family heirlooms in a storage unit at Public Storage on State Street in Lake Oswego. She wanted to put them in a safe place, so if something happens to her, her daughter Olivia will always have them to remember her, and her childhood.

But this week, Daisy said she was told by an employee of Public Storage that her heirlooms had been auctioned-off to the highest bidder.

Unfortunately, Daisy has more money than time. She is not a person who is delinquent on her payments. But while fighting cancer, she was also a victim of the Target security breach, and her bank canceled her debit card and issued her a new one.

Her automatic payments to Public Storage were tied to that expired debit card.

“I'm gearing up for another round of treatment,” Daisy told Unit 8. “Clients of mine, customers at my business and friends don’t even know. But I have a form of lymphatic cancer and it’s also spread to my brain.”

During her battle, and chemotherapy, Daisy put the heirlooms into a Public Storage unit. Things like her daughter’s Christening gown. A special lighthouse that she hand-made for her daughter years ago when her daughter was ill.

Items like a childhood rocking chair she wanted to make sure her daughter Olivia could always have to remember her. They were things that had no real monetary value, but they were special to a mother and daughter. Especially to Olivia.

Photos: Lake Oswego mom's missing heirlooms

“My lighthouse that my mom had made for me when I was in third or fourth grade. She had made it herself from a doll kit. She had sourced everything.” Daisy said after her bank issued her a new card.

She contacted Public Storage and tried to give them her new information. She said Public Storage told her to enter the new information online.

“I attempted numerous times to sign on to the Public Storage website. I was unable to do so. I had many calls back and forth with the manager of Public Storage and her employees," she said. 

Her last payment was on Jan. 7.

When February came, she did not get a bill from Public Storage, and did not get one for March either. So, she called and tried to pay but was told her items were auctioned off March 20.

Daisy tells Unit 8 that no one told her she was past due, or that her heirlooms were going to be sold.

Public Storage said they sent a certified letter to Daisy, but it was sent to the wrong address.

“I started crying, I couldn’t control myself and we just held each other,” said Olivia.

Unit 8 went to get some answers from Public Storage, and were told the manager couldn’t speak to us. Neither could the District Manager or the Regional Manager. Finally we were told the only person who could speak to us was the Chief Operating Officer headquartered in the Los Angeles area. When we called, we were told he was not at work this week, but would get back to us.

We’re still waiting.

Daisy said she also spoke to the regional manager who said he knows who bought the heirlooms at auction, but he would not give Daisy that information.

“He wasn’t very forthcoming. He did know the gentleman who purchased the items of our unit. He did contact that individual who said he had resold the items within just a few days.”

IT was a move that didn’t sit well with Olivia.

“She has cancer and that’s a really scary thing and these are important family things that one day I wanted to give to my children," she said. 

Unit 8 is expecting to hear back from Public Storage. But even if we don’t, we’re going to stay on this story.

Daisy is hoping someone may recognize the heirlooms and is willing to buy them back from anyone who may have them. The price is not important. They have no real value to anyone. But their sentimental value to Daisy and her daughter are priceless.

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