Forrest Fenn, creator of famed treasure hunt dies

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FILE – In this March 22, 2013, file photo, antiquities dealer and author Forrest Fenn sits in his home in Santa Fe, N.M. A bronze chest filled with gold, jewels, and other valuables worth more than $1 million and hidden a decade ago somewhere in the Rocky Mountain wilderness has been found, according to famed art and antiquities collector Fenn who created the treasure hunt. Fenn, 89, told the Santa Fe New Mexican on Sunday, June 7, 2020, that a man who did not want his name released located the chest a few days ago and the discovery was confirmed by a photograph the man sent him. (AP Photo/Jeri Clausing, File)

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Forrest Fenn, the Santa Fe author and artifact collector who became known for his infamous treasure hunt has died at the age of 90. The Santa Fe Police Department has confirmed his death.

According to his website and blog, Fenn and his wife built a gallery in Santa Fe in 1972 where they dealt high-value items such as paintings by Frederic Remington, Charlie Russell, as well as other sculptures and artifacts.

Since 2010, Fenn had drawn thousands of treasure hunters to New Mexico after including clues to a treasure chest hidden in the Rocky Mountains worth around $3 million in his self-published memoir, “The Thrill of the Chase.” At least five people died while searching for the treasure.

Many claimed the treasure to be a hoax with some even suing Fenn, alleging he led hunters astray with conflicting and misleading clues. Another lawsuit by a woman even claimed her solution to the treasure was stolen.

In July, Fenn confirmed that an unidentified hunter found the treasure, stating that he had hidden it in Wyoming.

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