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Settlement would give missing woman's boyfriend 50% of liquidated estate

Dia Abrams went missing from ranch near Idyllwild, sale of estate would fund $300K reward.

MOUNTAIN CENTER, Calif. — A settlement agreement in the court battle over the estate of missing woman, Dia Abrams, is set to be heard next week by a judge in Riverside County court.

If approved, the settlement would give Abrams’ boyfriend, Keith Harper, 50% of the estate, when and if Abrams is declared deceased.

Abrams, 65, went missing from her ranch in Mountain Center on June 6, 2020.

The draft settlement agreement filed in Palm Springs probate court last week calls for Abrams’ Bonita Vista Ranch to be sold, along with two other residential properties she owns in the area.

Money from the sale of the estate would immediately fund a $300,000 reward for information leading to the discovery of the missing woman's body and leading to a conviction in the case.

The funding of a large reward is the main reason why Abrams' son, Clinton Abrams, is in favor of the settlement.

“I support the proposed settlement agreement because it will establish a $300,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for Dia's disappearance. And I'm really hopeful that it will lead to a break in the case,” Clinton Abrams said on Monday during a phone interview.

If the former La Jolla resident's body is not found in the next 3 years, she will be declared dead. Then, the agreement calls for 50% of her liquidated estate to go to her adult children, Crisara and Clinton Abrams. The other 50% would go to Abrams’ boyfriend and ranch manager, Keith Harper.

Harper, 72, has been living on Abrams' 117-acre ranch for more than two years, ever since Abrams mysteriously went missing just two weeks after she signed a trust document naming Harper as beneficiary and co-trustee of her estate.

In 2021, Abrams' adult children filed petitions in probate court seeking Harper’s removal as trustee, and claiming Harper was a suspect in Abrams' homicide.

Harper denied the allegations, and claimed in court records that Abrams’ son, Clinton, was a suspect, as well.

Harper recently launched a new website advertising the Bonita Vista Ranch as a wedding venue. Court records allege he is planning construction on the ranch site.

"Harper is planning to make permanent changes to the real property by pouring cement for an RV park,” and he has "...continued to unilaterally and brazenly use the ranch for his own benefit,” the settlement motion alleged.

Harper did not respond to a message from CBS 8 seeking comment.

All parties approved a settlement “term sheet” in August, according to the settlement motion.  Harper's attorney died unexpectedly in September and the final settlement agreement was never signed by the parties.

Harper is now representing himself in pro per, according to the motion.

If the settlement agreement is approved, an independent trustee would be put in place to immediately liquidate Abrams' estate.

If Abrams were to be found alive after her estate was liquidated, she would be entitled to receive all funds from the sale of her estate.

Abrams’ adult children will ask Judge John G. Evans to approve the settlement agreement at a hearing in Palm Springs probate court on November 1 at 10 a.m. in Dept. PS3 (Case # PRIN2100297).

WATCH: Dia Abrams' son, Clinton Abrams, extended interview (June 2021).

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