Fort Yellowstone Cemetery

Fort Yellowstone Cemetery

A Rocky Mountain treasure hunter has been accused of damaging, removing or altering archaeological resources in Yellowstone National Park.

Rodrick Dow Craythorn, 52, was indicted by a federal grand jury in September after authorities said he was found digging in the historic Fort Yellowstone Cemetery.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges Thursday in the U.S. District Court of Wyoming in front of Chief Federal Magistrate Judge Kelly H. Rankin. The court set his trial for Dec. 14 in U.S. District Court in Casper.

The Syracuse, Utah, man faces charges of excavating or trafficking in archaeological resources and injury or depredation to United States property, according to a news release from the office of U.S. Attorney Mark Klaassen.

Officials say he caused damage in the Fort Yellowstone Cemetery between Oct. 1, 2019, and May 24, 2020. Craythorn was reportedly looking for the elusive Forrest Fenn treasure, a chest allegedly containing gold, coins, jewelry and gemstones that Fenn, an art dealer and author from New Mexico, said he had hidden somewhere in the Rocky Mountains and that spurred a decade-long search.

“Treasure hunters used clues from a book Fenn had written to scour the West hoping to find the fortune,” the news release said.

The chest was reportedly found in Wyoming in June 2020. Forrest Fenn passed away several months later.

Contact Emily Mieure at 732-7066 or

Emily Mieure covers criminal justice and emergency news. She also leads the News&Guide’s investigative efforts. She has reported for WDRB TV in Louisville, Ky., WFIE TV in Evansville, Ind., and WEIU TV in Charleston, Ill.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Please note: Online comments may also run in our print publications.
Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Please turn off your CAPS LOCK.
No personal attacks. Discuss issues & opinions rather than denigrating someone with an opposing view.
No political attacks. Refrain from using negative slang when identifying political parties.
Be truthful. Don’t knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be proactive. Use the “Report” link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with us. We’d love to hear eyewitness accounts or history behind an article.
Use your real name: Anonymous commenting is not allowed.
As of Oct. 18, 2020, the News&Guide has shifted to a subscriber-only commenting policy. You can read about this decision on our About Us page. Thanks for engaging in the conversation!

Thank you for reading!

Please log in, or sign up for a new account and purchase a subscription to read or post comments.