MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (WTNH) — A Middletown woman who was presumed lost at sea seven years ago was declared dead on Wednesday morning.

Most have assumed Linda Carman was dead after she went on a fishing trip with her son, Nathan Carman, in September 2016 and never returned.

Legally, seven years have to pass before a court can declare someone dead.

“The court makes the following findings: Linda Carman shall be presumed to be dead as of September 17 of 2023,” Middletown Probate Judge Joseph Marino said in court Wednesday morning.

Seven years ago, officials found Nathan Carman drifting out at sea in a raft. Federal prosecutors said he sank his boat on purpose, killing his mother.

Prosecutors also linked Nathan Carman to the death of his grandfather, who was shot to death in his Windsor home in 2013. Authorities said he was shot with a gun just like the one Nathan Carman had.

Officials speculated that Nathan Carman killed his mother because he wanted to inherit her money. However, it turns out, he would not have inherited anything from her according to the way she left her will.

“I now have a document which appears to be the original last will and testament of Linda Carman,” Marino said. “It’s dated September 26 of 2013.”

That date is three months before Nathan Carman allegedly killed his grandfather. Even so, Linda Carman made a big change to her will at that point.

“‘Nathan Carman is my only child,'” read attorney Brian Spears. “‘I have intentionally omitted Nathan and all of his descendants as beneficiaries under my revocable trust.'”

Linda Carman’s family has still not touched the grandfather’s millions for fear Nathan Carman might inherit some of that money. Nathan Carman died in prison earlier this year while awaiting trial.

Linda Carman’s estate is estimated at around $5.7 million and is still being held in a trust.