Treasure Hunter Facing Federal Charges For Digging Up Yellowstone Cemetery

A 52-year-old treasure hunter was indicted on federal charges for digging up a cemetery in Yellowstone National Park. Federal officials said that Rodrick Dow Craythorn, 52, was searching for the famed Forrest Fenn treasure, which the art dealer hid in the Rocky Mountains in 2010.

Fenn released clues about the whereabouts of the chest, which was filled with rare coins, jewels, and gold, in a book. Treasure hunters spent a decade scouring the Rocky Mountains, hoping to uncover the buried treasure.

Craythorn decided to look for the chest in Fort Yellowstone and is accused of digging up the cemetery on the grounds between October 2019 and May 2020. He was charged with excavating or trafficking in archeological resources and injury or depredation to United States property. He pleaded not guilty.

His trial is set to begin on December 14, 2020, in U.S. District Court in Casper, Wyoming.

Craythorn isn't the first person to run into trouble trying to find Fenn's treasure. A number of people have been charged over the years with burglary and digging on private lands as they tried to find the hidden treasure. Several people even died while looking for the chest, prompting local officials to ask Fenn to call off the search.

Fenn refused, and the treasure was eventually found in Wyoming in June 2020, ending the decade-long search. Fenn did not identify the treasure hunter who found the hidden cache or release the exact location where the chest was located, leading to some speculation that it was never found. Fenn died a few months later.

Photo: Yellowstone National Park