Property that the owner voluntarily surrenders, relinquishes, or disclaims. Property to which an owner has voluntarily relinquished all right, title, claim and possession with the intention of terminating his ownership, but without vesting it in any other person and with the intention of not reclaiming future possession or resuming ownership, possession, or enjoyment.
Abandonment consists of two elements: '(1) an intent to abandon, and (2) the external act by which the intention is carried into effect.' Hoffman Management Corp. v. S.L.C. of North Am., Inc., 800 S.W.2d 755, 762 (Mo. App. 1990) (quoting Linscomb v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., 199 F.2d 431, 435 (8th Cir. 1952)). Although abandonment should not be presumed lightly, it may be found when the evidence clearly and decisively leads to that conclusion. Id.
Under Missouri law, those who abandon property lose title. See Wirth v. Heavey, 508 S.W.2d 263, 267 (Mo. App. 1974). See Foster v. Fidelity Safe Deposit Co., 162 Mo. App. 165, 145 S.W. 139, 142, (Mo. App. 1912). See Pierson v. Post, 3 Cai. R. 175 (N.Y. Sup. 1805).
Once property has been abandoned, the first finder who ...