Feds: Man Spent 8 Months in Cemetery Digging for Treasure

Now Rodrick Dow Craythorn has been indicted after his alleged search for Forrest Fenn booty
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 23, 2020 7:48 AM CDT
Man Charged Over Cemetery Search for Forrest Fenn Treasure
Fort Yellowstone Cemetery, in Yellowstone National Park.   (NPS, via NBC News)

We still don't know who found Forrest Fenn's famous treasure in Wyoming's Rocky Mountains, but it apparently wasn't Rodrick Dow Craythorn. What Craythorn got instead, per NBC News: a federal grand jury indictment for allegedly digging in a Yellowstone National Park cemetery searching for the long-elusive treasure. A release from the US Attorney's Office in the District of Wyoming notes that, in response to his Sept. 16 indictment, the 52-year-old Utah man pleaded not guilty on Thursday to charges of excavating or trafficking in archaeological resources, as well as injury or depredation of US property. Craythorn is accused of digging in the Fort Yellowstone Cemetery for a nearly eight-month period between October of last year and the end of May.

What he was looking for: a treasure chest supposedly filled with gems and jewels, hidden in 2009 or 2010 by Fenn, a New Mexico art dealer who left clues to the treasure in his book The Thrill of the Chase. Fenn, who died in September, let everyone know in June that the treasure had been located, though the person who found it still hasn't been publicly IDed. Some claim Fenn may have never hidden any treasure at all. NBC and the Sacramento Bee note the multiple deaths and dangerous situations spurred by the search for Fenn's treasure. Per court records, Craythorn was released on his own recognizance. He's due back in court for his trial on Dec. 14. If convicted, he could see 10 years or so behind bars, as well as upward of $250,000 in fines. (More Yellowstone National Park stories.)

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