Forrest Fenn should retrieve the treasure he stashed in the wilderness before anybody else dies looking for it, New Mexico's top cop says. "I would implore that he stop this nonsense," New Mexico State Police Chief Pete Kassetas said after searchers found a body believed to be that of Colorado pastor Paris Wallace, who disappeared while hunting for the treasure last week. The body was found in New Mexico's Rio Grande river, around seven miles downstream from where searchers found the 52-year-old's abandoned vehicle, along with rope tied around a rock on a nearby riverbank, the BBC reports. Another Colorado man died last year seeking the $2 million haul of gold and jewels Fenn says he hid in 2010.
The search has not only cost lives, it has endangered law enforcement personnel looking for lost searchers, meaning Fenn "has an obligation to retrieve his treasure if it does exist," Kassetas tells the Santa Fe New Mexican. Fenn says the death of Wallace is a "terrible loss" and he is considering either calling off the search or making it safer. He tells the New Mexican, however, that the hundreds of emails he has received in recent days have been overwhelmingly against stopping the search. He reminded searchers last week that he was 80 years old when he hid the treasure, meaning they shouldn't "overextend" themselves in the hunt. (In 2015, he admitted that the hunt was "out of control.")