You can work with an experienced real estate person (direct investor, or realtor) to try methods to contact the current owner but my suspicion is he's relying on an attorney to use a loophole to save his rights to the property. That doesn't hint to me that he's someone who wants to sell.
I'm not sure it's really in a position where it was sold as you believe. The most expeditious method to find out for sure, might be to send a letter to the owner of record, or approach anyone who lives there. But I'd be careful in how you approach them- with sensitivity and understanding for their circumstances.