New Mexico State Police believe a body found in the state is that of a pastor who went missing while searching for treasure in the Rocky Mountains.
Medical investigators have not released the identity of the body, but State Police Lt. Elizabeth Armijo told the AP that it is likely Paris Wallace, of Grand Junction, Colo.
Family reported Wallace missing last week. He had been searching for treasure hidden by multimillionaire Forrest Fenn. Fenn announced years ago that he hid artifacts and gold in a chest in the mountains in 2010. He even gave clues about the treasure’s location in his poem, The Thrill of the Chase.
"I made it hard [to find] deliberately," he said in a 2015 interview. "If it was easy, anyone could do it."
Fenn told CBS’ Sunday Morning that he didn’t hide the treasure in the mines because the mines were too dangerous.
Police found Wallace’s car after tracing his cell phone. They then found his backpack in the Rio Grande river. A torn rope was also found. It had been stretched across a tributary of the Rio Grande. Wallace’s body was found about five to seven miles downstream from his car.
"My heart and my prayers go out to his family and his church… It is such a tragedy,” Fenn said in a statement this week.
Wallace isn’t the first to die in hopes of finding the treasure in the mountains.
In 2016, Randy Bilyeu’s remains were found months after he went missing. He, too, was searching for the treasure. Bilyeu was 54.
Photo credit: ©Thinkstock/grafvision
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.