A mysterious treasure is buried somewhere in the United States. The only clues to finding it exist within a poem published by an eccentric millionaire who hid it, Forrest Fenn.
Although Fenn has suggested that his adventure shouldn't put anyone in danger, three people in recent history have died hunting for the gilded box. Now, reports obtained through a Freedom of Information Act Request from KULR 8 in Montana have confirmed a fourth person has perished during a quest for the treasure.
Will Fenn call off the hunt if more people are felled in search of his jewels?
The latest to die trying to find the treasure is Jeff Murphy, 53, who was discovered in Yellowstone National Park on June 9th, one day after he went missing.
The park investigation had been kept private, according to the Montana news channel. The incident report, now made public after a FAOI request, shows that Murphy had told his wife he would embark on a searching for Fenn's fortune.
The heavily redacted park report (which obscured the name of Murphy's wife) shows that Murphy had fallen 500 feet from the top of Turkey Pen Peak: “It appeared he stepped or hopped into the chute from the less steep slope above," the report reads.
The situation has been deemed an accident; the case is not being considered a suicide.
Murphy's wife has not offered a comment on the report but did not dispute its findings.
Murphy had emailed Fenn before his journey began, with several more emails going through while Murphy was in the park. When Murphy went missing, Fenn had offered to fund a helicopter search to find him. Fenn claimed he had never been to the area where Murphy was ultimately discovered.
“I hope your quest won’t be adversely affected by these current events…” Murphy's wife had emailed Fenn.
Yellowstone spokeswoman Morgan Warthin also confirmed the events in the report and would not comment further on the situation.
Fenn has also not offered a comment.
Forrest Fenn is an octogenarian art dealer and millionaire who challenged treasure hunters to find an opulent box of jewels (worth approximately $2 million), according to NPR. A poem in Fenn's memoir gave clues to the location of the box: "So hear me all and listen good /Your effort will be worth the cold. / If you are brave and in the wood / I give you title to the gold," the poem reads.
Murphy is the fourth person to die in pursuit of Fenn's riches.
Linda Bilyeu, whose former husband died while looking for the jewels, has asked for the hunt to be called off. She described the ordeal as "ludicrous."
After the death of 52-year-old Paris Wallace, Fenn issued several more clues in the hopes of discouraging questers from endangering themselves.
"Please be cautious and don't take risks," Fenn wrote. "The search is supposed to be fun."
[Photo: Screenshot via NBC]
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