It has been revealed that an Illinois man who died last spring in Yellowstone National Park had been searching for the infamous Fenn treasure.
The alleged hidden cache of riches, said to be worth $2 million dollars, has tantalized mystery buffs and armchair treasure hunters since it was first announced by author Forrest Fenn in 2010.
In the ensuing years, countless adventurous people have attempted to decipher the eccentric art dealer's coded poem which purportedly serves as a treasure map leading to its location.
One such individual was Jeff Murphy of Batavia, Illinois, who journeyed to Yellowstone last June in pursuit of the treasure and subsequently perished after some kind of misstep caused him to fall 500 feet off of a hiking trail.
Strangely, the details surrounding Murphy's death were kept under wraps by park officials and only came to light after a report on the incident was released via an FOIA request by Montana TV station KTMF.
According to the parks investigation, the would-be treasure hunter had been in communication with Fenn prior to visiting Yellowstone and that the trip was centered around searching for the riches somewhere in the area.
The report also indicated that Fenn was aware of Murphy's disappearance at the time and, to his credit, offered to provide funding for a helicopter to help in the search.
Unfortunately, that would not be needed as search and rescue workers eventually found Murphy's body a few days after he had been reported missing.
The tragic event marks the fourth death connected to the notorious treasure and will, no doubt, renew calls from law enforcement officials for Fenn to put an end to the hunt.
However, when this request was made last year, the author balked at the suggestion and insisted that he hid the treasure in a safe location.
While that may be the case, considering that is has now cost four people their lives, it's beginning to seem as if the treasure may very well be cursed, regardless of where Fenn may have left it.
Sources: Albuquerque Journal / KTMF