Yellowstone Hiker Fatality Last Summer Linked to Treasure Hunt

Yellowstone Hiker Fatality Last Summer Linked to Treasure Hunt”

Mammoth - A search for the Forrest Fenn treasure ended in death in Yellowstone last spring.

Yellowstone Park officials started a search for 53-year old Jeff Murphy June 8.

KULR-TV reports that Murphy was looking for the gold and jewels that supposedly comprise a treasure that Santa Fe antiquities dealer and author Forrest Fenn said he hid somewhere in the Rocky Mountains years ago.

In an interview with the Albuquerque Journal this week, Erica Murphy said her husband was captivated by Fenn's treasure after reading about it in an airline magazine. The treasure hunt has been a "pastime" for him ever since, she told the newspaper. "He loved anything that caused him to use his brain, and he loved being out in nature".

Yellowstone officials declared that the hunt for the author and antique dealer Forrest Fenn's treasure had claimed yet another life, that of a 53-year-old man from Batavia, who ventured too far off the path, following the clues Fenn allegedly left behind in his poem 'The Thrill of the Chase'.

Authorities have asked Fenn to call off the treasure hunt, but he refused.

"As with deer hunters and fishermen, there is an inherent risk that comes with hiking the canyons and mountain trails", Fenn said.

"No one should search in a place where an 80-year-old man could not hide it", he said.

Murphy's body was discovered the next day, on June 9.

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Erica Murphy said Monday she didn't blame Fenn for her husband's death and that Jeff wouldn't have either.

Murphy's wife also emailed Fenn during the search.

The report by park investigators called his death an accident, saying "it appeared he stepped or hopped into the chute from the less steep slope above". She said, "I hope your quest won't be adversely affected by these current events".

Three other people have died seeking the chest, which Mr Fenn says contains "hundreds of gold nuggets, some as large as chicken eggs, ancient Chinese carved jade figures, Pre-Columbian gold animal artifacts, lots of rubies, emeralds, sapphires, and diamonds and other things".

A MAN plunged 500ft to his death searching for hidden treasure which has apparently been buried in the Rocky Mountains by an eccentric billionaire.

Thousands were lured to combing areas of New Mexico, Yellowstone National Park and beyond after Fenn revealed he had buried a chest in the region in 2011.

Randy Bilyeu, 54, disappeared along the Rio Grande River in January 2016 and Colorado pastor Paris Wallace, 52, went missing in June.

About a month later, 31-year-old Eric Ashby died after his raft capsized while traveling through the Royal Gorge on the Arkansas River. His remains were found 15 miles downstream from where he went missing. Fenn chartered a helicopter to help with the search after Bilyeu disappeared.

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