A treasure hunter in Utah faces 12 years in prison for digging up a cemetery in the Yellowstone National Park area. According to federal prosecutors, Rodrick Dow Craythorn, aged 52, accepted that he dug up the cemetery to search for Forrest Fenn’s treasure.
The authorities have leveled charges of excavating or trafficking in archeological resources as the area belonged to the Yellowstone National Park. Apart from that, Craythorn also pleaded guilty on charges related to causing injury or depredation to property of the US.
Hoping to find the treasure, Craythorn was found digging in the historic Fort Yellowstone Cemetery in the early months of 2020. The cemetery has nearly 35 graves belonging to the soldiers, relatives of the military and other civilian employees of the military forces. The graves date between 1888 and 1957.
Several people have tried hard to find the Forrest Fenn treasure over the last decade. Fenn was an art historian and antiquities collector. He claimed that he had hid a bronze chest filled with gold and jewels in the rocky mountains and the estimated worth of the treasure was around $1 million. Fenn even published clues about the location of the treasure in a poem in his autobiography that was written in 2010.
Since then, several people have tried to search for the treasure and two people lost their lives during the quest for the treasure in recent years. Fenn announced last year that a man had found the treasure in Wyoming wilderness but wanted to remain anonymous. Fenn died at the age of 90 in September 2020.
Craythorn is likely to be sentenced in Casper Wyoming on March 17. In a statement released to the media, US Attorney Mark Klaassen said that the hunt for the Forrest Fenn treasure was often seen as a harmless diversion but it has caused substantial damage to public resources in this case.