An antique dealer's cryptic poem hinting a buried treasure somewhere inside Yellowstone Park has led to the deaths of at least three treasure hunters.
The death of Jeff Murphy of Batavia, 53, who was reported missing June 7 previous year while hiking in Yellowstone National Park, was ruled an accident, according to multiple news outlets.
According to a report by Yellowstone National Park into his death Mr Murphy had also emailed Mr Fenn before setting out.
Jeff Murphy is only the latest treasure hunter to fall victim in their quest for Santa Fe author and antiquities dealer Forrest Fenn's stash of valuables, the Albuquerque Journal reported. But Mrs Murphy said she did not blame Mr Fenn, and her husband knew the risks.
"It was his past time, Erica Murphy told the Journal". "He loved anything that caused him to use his brain, and he loved being out in nature". His widow confirmed to the Journal a report by a Billings, Mont., television station that Murphy died while in search of the treasure, estimated to be worth $2 million or more. "The treasure is not hidden in a unsafe spot and I have said that no one should search in a place where an 80-year-old man could not hide it". The report concludes that Murphy died as a result of an accident while he was on the Rescue Creek Trail near Turkey Pen Peak. He had fallen about 500 feet (152 meters) down a steep slope.
The report shows that Murphy emailed Forrest Fenn in the days before Murphy's death. Murphy's wife said she did not want to comment on the report.
Although the poem written by Fenn hints a more spiritual journey, the treasure at the end of the chase symbolizing man coming face to face with himself, some adventure enthusiasts have made a decision to take the clues literally, hiking to some of the most unsafe parts of Yellowstone Park in an attempt to discover the author's buried treasure.
The poem includes lines like "Begin it where warm waters halt". The 53-year-old from Batavia was found June 9, a day after his wife reported him missing. But Fenn denied assertions that he had been in contact with Ashby.
Randy Bilyeu, from Colorado, went missing in January 2016 while digging for gold before his remains were located along the Rio Grande six months later.