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Police recovered a body they believe to be a Colorado pastor who was searching for treasure.
Pastor Paris Wallace disappeared in New Mexico last week while hunting the infamous Fenn Treasure, which is reportedly worth in the millions with gold coins, precious metals and other artifacts.
"This is our official update regarding Paris Wallace. We are asking that you share this post only, and refrain from other posts and comments, as we are hoping to assure all information is correct. Thank you for your help and understanding. We want to share and confirm a report by Taos News that New Mexico State Police along with search and rescue teams worked to recover a man's body near Pilar in the Rio Grande Gorge area on Sunday afternoon. The Office of the Medical Investigator has not yet made a positive identification. Please continue to pray for the Wallace family," according to the most recent update.
Friend Wendell Smith says Wallace often ministered on Indian reservations around the area.
Wallace's wife reported her husband missing Wednesday when he didn't show up for a meeting. After 40 hours, Smith reported Wallace's disappearance to the Chase Chat, an online community dedicated to decoding and finding Fenn's treasure.
One poster saw the discussion and scouted out an area she believed Wallace could have been. She found Wallace's vehicle with a rope near the Rio Grande River.
The Daily Sentinel reports:
Search and rescue officials had searched 200 acres near the vehicle as of Saturday, according to New Mexico State Police spokesman Carl Christiansen. They found a backpack in the Rio Grande River downstream from a tributary, the Rio Pueblo, where a rope was found tied to a rock on the riverbank. Officials found a receipt for items, including a rope, in Wallace's vehicle and believe the rope belonged to him.
A dive team was searching the Rio Grande but had to suspend its search on Saturday due to dangerous high waters, Christiansen said. Teams have attempted to access the bank of the Rio Pueblo where the rope is tied, but "so far they have been unable to access the other side of the river where the rope was located due to the raging waters," he said.
Fenn's treasure, hidden by Forrest Fenn, is hidden somewhere in the Rocky Mountains.
"My heart and my prayers go out to his family and his church.... It is such a tragedy," Fenn says of Wallace.
Fenn wrote a poem that acts as a treasure map:
As I have gone alone in there
And with my treasures bold,
I can keep my secret where,
And hint of riches new and old.
Begin it where warm waters halt
And take it in the canyon down,
Not far, but too far to walk.
Put in below the home of Brown.
From there it's no place for the meek,
The end is ever drawing nigh;
There'll be no paddle up your creek,
Just heavy loads and water high.
If you've been wise and found the blaze,
Look quickly down, your quest to cease,
But tarry scant with marvel gaze,
Just take the chest and go in peace.
So why is it that I must go
And leave my trove for all to seek?
The answers I already know,
I've done it tired, and now I'm weak.
So hear me all and listen good,
Your effort will be worth the cold.
If you are brave and in the wood
I give you title to the gold.
Jessilyn Justice is the director of online news for Charisma. Born and raised in a pastor's family in Alabama, she attended Lee University and the Washington Journalism Center. She's passionate about sharing God's goodness through storytelling. Tell her what you think of this story on Twitter @jessilynjustice.
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