North Texas hiker goes missing while hunting treasure - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

North Texas hiker goes missing while hunting treasure

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By SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN
Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- Search and rescue crews combed a rugged area of Bandelier National Monument early Saturday before finding a missing hiker who had traveled to northern New Mexico to hunt for the hidden treasure of a Santa Fe antiquities dealer.

Medical personnel were called to the monument as precaution after 33-year-old Chanon Thompson was found along the Ancho Canyon Trail, but Bandelier spokeswoman Claudia Brookshire said she appeared to be in good condition after running out of water and spending a frigid night outdoors.

"It's been in the 30s at night, so that's definitely a concern," Brookshire said.

Dispatchers had received a call Friday Thompson's boyfriend who reported her missing after not hearing from her when he expected to.

It turns out she had parked her car at a gate bordering U.S. Department of Energy property and hiked down the Rio Grande and up the Falls Trail. It began to rain, the sun was setting and she missed the trail on the way back to her car.

"Realizing she would have to spend the night, she found shelter near a rock," Brookshire said. "On Saturday, the hiker began re-tracing her steps and was able to find the trail back to her car."

She was intercepted by search crews as she was walking back.

Brookshire said the young woman came to New Mexico after being inspired by an interview with antiquities dealer, author and former art gallery owner Forrest Fenn that aired last week on NBC's "Today Show."

Fenn sparked the treasure hunt in 2011 when he released his book, "The Thrill of the Chase," which features clues that could lead readers to the $2 million treasure he hid three years ago in the mountains north of Santa Fe.

Hidden in an old bronze lockbox, the booty includes pieces of gold, a 17th century Spanish emerald ring, a ruby-studded bracelet, small diamonds and other items.

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