You left out a very important piece of information - whether your friend paid any money for the house.
Based on your question, it sounds like your friend found a vacant home, moved in without asking or telling anybody, and planned to pay the back taxes, expecting that she would then own the house. Maybe I've misread the question, but if not, your friend has no legal rights, as she would be considered a squatter or trespasser.
Feel free to add more information if the circumstances are different than I've interpreted your question, and maybe the answer will change.
It sounds like your friend was trying to acquire title to the house by "adverse possession". However, she had no legal right to be living in the house, so she could be lawfully kicked out as a trespasser or squatter. She has no legal right.
Frank W. Chen is licensed to practice law in the State of California only. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, consult your own attorney.