This afternoon Forrest was contacted by Mikayla Ortega, a reporter from KOB, the ABC TV affiliate in Albuquerque. This is what her email said:
We have received this from Bilyeau’s ex-wife. Do you have a response to this?
I do not think that a treasure chest exists. Fenn was in contact with me during the month of January and shortly into February. It was at this time that he began to twist my emails into making it all about him and I cut off communication. The last time I had communication from him was when I was in NM in April and didn’t meet with him. He emailed me and asked me, why I didn’t contact him. I told him it was because when I asked you to please tell the police where the treasure might be so we could find Randy, you said, I can’t because if I tell you I will have to kill you. (Haha. Funny.) I believe Randy’s mind was manipulated to believe the treasure was where it was because there is no way he would have searched where he did if he was of sound mind. The clues that Fenn reveals come along with twists and turns that play with ones mind. I would suggest they use their best judgement and take along an abundance of common sense. Never hunt alone. Randy was a caring a person who loved his family and friends very much. I’ve heard many times that Randy died doing what he loved to do. That is false. What he loved to do was spend time with his family and friends, that was what he loved to do. Searching for a treasure chest was a hobby. Randy was seeking employment at the time of his disappearance.
This was Forrest’s reply.
The story is true and the treasure is real. It is regrettable that Randy Bilyeu was searching alone in the river west of Santa Fe in the cold of January when ice was on the water and night temperatures were well below freezing. I was 80 years old when I hid the treasure and since that time about 65,000 people, many of them children, have enjoyed wonderful experiences searching for the treasure in the Rocky Mountains north of Santa Fe where I said it was hidden. It is tragic that Randy was lost and my prayers and condolences go out to his family and friends.