The search for author Forrest Fenn’s treasure has taken another deadly turn as another suspected treasure hunter’s body was found after he went missing more than a week ago. This is the second death linked to those searching for the treasure, and Fenn has been asked by local law enforcement to put an end to the “nonsense and insanity.”
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The body of Colorado pastor Paris Wallace is thought to have been found near the Rocky Mountains. Officers found the 52-year-old’s body downstream from his parked vehicle. He has yet to be positively identified by family, but reports suggest it is Wallace.
In January of last year, Randy Bilyeu disappeared near The Rio Grande River in his search for the treasure, according to the Daily Mail.
The deaths of the two treasure hunters have put a damper on the search for Fenn’s Treasure, which is allegedly hidden in a bronze treasure chest and contains 265 gold coins along with gems, rubies and hundreds of gold nuggets.
The treasure was buried by Finn in 2010 and was later publicized on CBS where he read a poem containing clues that supposedly lead to the treasure’s location. Finn also asked those in search of the treasure to read the two novels he wrote for follow-up clues.
New Mexico’s top law enforcement officer, State Police Chief Pete Kassetas, has seemingly had enough. He told the media, “He’s putting lives at risk.” Kassetas also said he has personally asked for Finn to ether disclose where the treasure is, or simply cancel it all together and retrieve the treasure and keep it for himself.
“That is an option, but I have not made a decision yet,” Finn told Fox News Tuesday night. “Today I have received over 200 emails urging me to not call off the hunt, and two that think I should.”
Finn didn’t intend these deaths when he hid the treasure. He said that Wallace’s death was “tragic” and “my heart and my prayers go out to his family and his church…this is such a tragedy.”
The 86-year-old’s reasoning for burying the treasure was initially to get people outdoors and spending time together. Finn has been facing an increasing amount of backlash for the treasure hunt. Bilyeu’s wife told The Albequerque Journal that her husband “lost his life for a hoax … There’s no treasure – it’s not real.”
A friend of Finn defended the author, shedding some light on where the treasure may lie. “Forrest has said many things which people should pay attention to [including] don’t go anywhere a 79 or 80 year old man can’t go, the chest is not hidden in a dangerous place, and don’t search alone in the mountains, yet people still look in the Rio Grande.”