Body recovered near Pilar in Rio Grande Gorge


New Mexico State Police along with search and rescue teams worked to recover a man's body near Pilar on Sunday afternoon (June 18).

The body might be that of a missing Colorado treasure hunter Paris Wallace, but the Office of the Medical Investigator has not yet made a positive identification, according to Sgt. Carl Christiansen, public information officer with New Mexico State Police. 

New Mexico Search and Rescue teams have been looking for Wallace, a pastor from Grand Junction, Colo. since Thursday (June 15) when he was reported missing by his family, Christiansen said.  Friends believe Wallace was looking for the Forrest Fenn treasure. Fenn, a Santa Fe art dealer, has suggested he left a treasure somewhere in the Rocky Mountains several years ago.

Wallace went missing north of Española while either hiking or hunting the treasure, according to state police and stories in the The Daily Sentinel, a Grand Junction newspaper. 

Alerted to Wallace's dissappearance through an online chat room frequented by other Fenn treasure hunters, another treasure seeker found Fenn's vehicle near Pilar, according to a story in The Daily Sentinel. Search teams began searching in the Rio Grande on Saturday but high waters halted the search. 

This story is developing and more information will be provided as it becomes available. 

– Staff report