A Utah man who authorities say was digging in a cemetery in Yellowstone National Park in hopes of finding the famed Forrest Fenn treasure has pleaded not guilty to federal charges.
A federal grand jury indicted Rodrick Dow Craythorn, 52, last month on two counts related to damaging archaeological resources and US property, according to a statement issued Thursday from the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Wyoming.
Prosecutors say the incidents took place between October 1, 2019, and May 24, 2020, in the historic Fort Yellowstone Cemetery. The cemetery has more than 35 graves that date between 1888 and 1957, most of them soldiers, civilian employees of the Army and relatives of the military and civilian personnel stationed at the fort.
CNN was not able to reach Craythorn for comment and his attorney’s office declined to comment.
Prosecutors said Craythorn was searching for the Forrest Fenn treasure – an almost mythical horde of gold, jewels and artifacts that eluded fortune hunters for a decade.
Fenn, an art historian and antiquities collector, hid a bronze chest filled with an estimated $1 million worth of loot somewhere in the Rocky Mountains and published clues to its location in a poem in his 2010 autobiography “The Thrill of the Chase.”
The mystery attracted thousands of people from all over the world and at least two people died in search of the treasure.
Fenn, 90, died last month, but not before he revealed that an anonymous man from “back East” had found the treasure in June of this year.
Craythorn’s trial is set for December 14, 2020, in US District Court in Casper, Wyoming, according to the US attorney’s office.