Remains Of Missing Treasure Hunter, Randy Bilyeu, Found In New Mexico

The £1.5m bounty was hidden by an author

The remains of a treasure hunter who went missing in January have been found in New Mexico.

Randy Bilyeu, 54, from Colorado, disappeared after he set out with his dog and a raft to find an elusive treasure trove hidden by art dealer and author Forrest Fenn.

He was reported missing on 14 January by his ex-wife, and the raft and dog were found the next day.

<strong>Randy Bilyeu during a visit to northern New Mexico in June 2015.</strong>
Randy Bilyeu during a visit to northern New Mexico in June 2015.

His remains were discovered on a stretch of the Rio Grande river.

Fenn joined in the search for the missing man and told would-be treasure hunters not to search “any place where an 80-year-old man couldn’t put it (the treasure)”.

The bronze chest containing gold coins, nuggets, pre-Columbian gold animal figures, a Spanish 17th century gold-and-emerald ring and an important bracelet with turquoise beads excavated in 1898 from Mesa Verde, which Fenn won much later playing pool, is believed to be worth around £1.5m.

Clues to its whereabouts are hidden in a book published by Fenn in 2011.

Thousands have searched for it and although some have claimed to have found it, no one has ever presented any actual evidence.

<strong>Forrest Fenn sits in his home in Santa Fe.</strong>
Forrest Fenn sits in his home in Santa Fe.

Fenn, now 85, decided to bury the treasure after he was told the cancer he had successfully had treatment for could return in the future.

He told The Huffington Post in 2013: “If it comes back, I’m going to grab a pocketful of sleeping pills, take a treasure chest filled with treasure and a copy of my bio; and I’m going to walk out into the desert.

“Sometime they’ll find my bones and the treasure, but my bio will be inside the box, so at least they’ll know who I was.”

Fenn also wrote a poem which he claims contains nine clues to where the treasure is hidden.

As I have gone alone in there
And with my treasures bold,
I can keep my secret where,
And hint of riches new and old.

Begin it where warm waters halt
And take it in the canyon down,
Not far, but too far to walk.
Put in below the home of Brown.

From there it’s no place for the meek,
The end is ever drawing nigh;
There’ll be no paddle up your creek,
Just heavy loads and water high.

If you’ve been wise and found the blaze,
Look quickly down, your quest to cease,
But tarry scant with marvel gaze,
Just take the chest and go in peace.

So why is it that I must go
And leave my trove for all to seek?
The answers I already know,
I’ve done it tired and now I’m weak.

So hear me all and listen good,
Your effort will be worth the cold.
If you are brave and in the wood
I give you title to the gold.