By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
A man who was on the hunt for the treasure chest buried by the late Forrest Fenn was indicted last month for damage he caused to Yellowstone National Park.
Rodrick Dow Craythorn, 52, of Syracuse, Utah, was found digging in the historic Fort Yellowstone Cemetery and was indicted on Sept. 16 on charges of excavating or trafficking in archeological resources and injury or depredation to U.S. property, according to a release from Yellowstone on Thursday.
He claimed he was looking for Fenn’s treasure, a chest containing gold and jewels the author buried in 2010 that supposedly found earlier this year in Wyoming. The lucky finder has still not been identified. Fenn died this year, after the treasure was found.
The treasure was found in early June after more than 10 years of being hidden. A previous report only said that the treasure finder was an anonymous man from “back East” who sent Fenn a picture of the chest to prove he actually found it.
A poem in Fenn’s book “The Thrill of the Chase: A Memoir” included nine clues on where to find the treasure. Fenn said the treasure was contained in a 12th-century bronze chest that weighed 20 pounds by itself and was filled with 22 pounds of gold coins, gold nuggets and other valuables.
At least four people died in search of Fenn’s treasure over the years.
The first count of the indictment alleged Craythorn knowingly and unlawfully excavated, removed, damaged, altered and defaced and attempted to deface archeological resource in the cemetery between Oct. 1, 2019 and May 24.
The second count charged Craythorn with willfully damaging and committing depredation against property belonging to the U.S.
Craythorn appeared in court on Thursday and pleaded not guilty to the two charges. His trial is set for December.