SANTA FE, NM (CBS4/AP) — Forrest Fenn, the 89-year-old author and art dealer who sparked countless treasure hunts in the Rocky Mountains over the years, passed away on Monday, police in New Mexico confirmed. At least four people died searching for his hidden treasure.
Fenn’s hidden treasure was reportedly discovered in early June. Fenn announced the discovery but did not say who found his cache, which he claimed was a bronze chest filled with gold, jewels, and other valuables worth more than $1 million.
Fenn said he hid the treasure as a way to tempt people to get into the wilderness and give them a chance to launch an old-fashioned adventure and expedition for riches.
Fenn posted clues to the treasure’s whereabouts online and in a 24-line poem that was published in his 2010 autobiography “The Thrill of the Chase.”
“It was under a canopy of stars in the lush, forested vegetation of the Rocky Mountains and had not moved from the spot where I hid it more than 10 years ago,” Fenn said in a statement on his website in June. “I do not know the person who found it, but the poem in my book led him to the precise spot.”
He did not say where the treasure hunter was from, other than “back East.” Fenn said the discovery was confirmed by a photo the man sent him.
When asked how he felt once the treasure had been found, Fenn said: “I don’t know, I feel halfway kind of glad, halfway kind of sad because the chase is over.”
Greg Gurule, Public Information Officer for Santa Fe Police said officers were called to his house Monday afternoon on an unattended death and found his body. They did not release any other information.
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