Third man found dead may have also been treasure hunting - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Third man found dead may have also been treasure hunting

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NBC News -

Authorities are working to identify the body of a man who friends and family fear was killed while searching for millions in hidden treasure.

If the fatality is linked to the Southwestern treasure hunt it would be the third death and the second in recent months. Authorities are calling for an end to the hunt but the man behind the fortune has no plans to stop it.

The body washed down river and friends family feat it's 31 year old Eric Ashby.

Ashby moved to Colorado to find a 2 million dollar treasure hidden somewhere in the Southwest.

"Eric was attempting to swim across the Arkansas river which I fully believe with all my heart he was looking for the treasure and met his fate that day," Dave Grambell, a friend of Ashby's, said.

Thousands have searched for a treasure chest said to be filled with gold coins and jewels for the last seven years. The only clue comes from a poem, "with my treasures bold, I can keep my secret where."

Famed art collector Forest Fenn says he hid his wealth to inspire others to explore.

Randy Bilyeu was found dead last year in New Mexico, while looking for the treasure and last month, pastor Paris Wallace was also found dead.

Fenn refuses to call off the treasure hunt and said the fortune isn't hidden somewhere dangerous.

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