Police urge famous treasure hunt to be called off after two deaths

Treasure hunter believed to have lost his life looking for Fenn's Treasure (NBC News)
Treasure hunter believed to have lost his life looking for Fenn's Treasure (NBC News)

SANTA FE, N.M. (KOB) — New Mexico State Police Chief Pete Kassetas is asking author Forrest Fenn to call off the search for Fenn’s treasure after another treasure hunter is believed to have lost his life on a quest to find it.

“I think there’s a certain amount of responsibility. We’ve had two deaths in conjunction with this,” Kassettas said.

Fenn says the treasure’s hidden somewhere in the mountains north of Santa Fe.

This undated photo provided by Forrest Fenn shows an estimated 2 million dollars of gold jewelry and other artifacts that Fenn has hidden for treasures hunters to find. Thousands have set off into the wilds of the West in search for Forrest Fenn’s cache of gold, jewelry and artifacts. But until now, none of the treasure hunters has been in such a dangerous predicament as Randy Bilyeu, who has gone missing along Rio Grande in northern New Mexico. (Forrest Fenn via AP)
This undated photo provided by Forrest Fenn shows an estimated 2 million dollars of gold jewelry and other artifacts that Fenn has hidden for treasures hunters to find. Thousands have set off into the wilds of the West in search for Forrest Fenn’s cache of gold, jewelry and artifacts. But until now, none of the treasure hunters has been in such a dangerous predicament as Randy Bilyeu, who has gone missing along Rio Grande in northern New Mexico. (Forrest Fenn via AP)

For years, thousands of people have set out in search of the treasure chest said to contain $2 million in gold and jewels.

“People start to make decisions that aren’t based in good sound judgment when it comes to money, much less than a million dollars. So I think he really needs to evaluate what atmosphere he’s created,” Kassetas said.

Last year, 54-year-old Randy Bilyeu from Colorado died while searching for Fenn’s treasure. At the time Fenn said he’s always cautioned people searching for the treasure.

“The treasure’s not hidden in a dangerous place and I’ve said many times that don’t look for the treasure any place an 80-year-old man couldn’t put a 42 pound box,” he said.

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