WASHINGTON — He's described as an eccentric millionaire who hid $2 million dollars worth of loot somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. Multiple people reportedly lost their lives in search of the hidden treasure, thought to be located somewhere along the Rio Grande in New Mexico.
But now, the hidden loot has finally been found. The Santa Fe New Mexican reported the news Sunday saying millionaire Forrest Fenn told the paper by phone "it's true," and said the chest with the valuables was found "a few days ago" in the wilderness.
"The guy who found it does not want his name mentioned. He’s from back East," Fenn said. The location of the chest was confirmed by a photograph from the man who found it.
Thousands reportedly became obsessed with trying to find the loot, that was said to be buried somewhere in New Mexico's arid desert landscape with few clues as to where.
Treasure hunter Paris Wallace, 52, apparently just vanished somewhere along a remote part of the Rio Grande river in search of the buried valuables.
The antiquities dealer made headlines as he declined to give many clues about the location of the goods only saying, "it's out there, it's waiting for someone."
Fenn, an 89-year-old Vietnam veteran, antiquities dealer and author, published some clues to the location of the wealth in a book he wrote called "The Thrill of the Chase."
Now that it has been found, Fenn says, "I don’t know, I feel halfway kind of glad, halfway kind of sad because the chase is over."
Fenn, who said that nearly 350,000 people reportedly went hunting for the treasure, hoped the stunt would get more people outside and enjoying the wilderness.
In March CBS reported that two Colorado men, 58 and 65, died while searching for the chest on rented snowmobiles. "What happened was tragic," Fenn said of the losses via email. The two men where from Deer Trail and Thornton, Colorado.
There were reports of calls for Fenn to call off the search in the wake of the tragedies.
The millionaire told The New Mexican in 2017 that the chest and its contents weighed about 44 pounds, and said he delivered the chest to its hiding place on his own, during two separate trips.