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Henderson man arrested for allegedly stalking family amid treasure hunt

Posted: 10:54 PM, Apr 22, 2019
Updated: 2019-04-23 02:17:47-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A Henderson man is jailed and accused of stalking an author and art collector - Forrest Fenn - in a quest to find a hidden treasure chest.

Francisco Chavez, 49, who also goes by the name "Paco," lives in Nevada, but he's well known to police in New Mexico.

Authorities said on Saturday, Chavez drove to the Santa Fe home of millionaire art and antique dealer Fenn.

Fenn, 88, is best known for hiding a treasure chest of gold and jewelry, estimated to be worth $2 million. - the prize is hidden somewhere in the Rockies.

He first revealed the clues in his 2010 memoir "The Thrill of the Chase" and subsequent clues have been released.

However, Chavez turned up empty in his hunt for the posh prize, and police said on Saturday, he turned up at the Fenn home in Santa Fe - more than nine hours away from Chavez's home in Green Valley.

"It's very concerning for us anytime Mr. Chavez comes to Santa Fe and begins the harassing conduct with Mr. Fenn and his family," Ben Valdez said, deputy chief of police for the Santa Fe Police Department.

According to court documents obtained by 13 Action News, Chavez spoke through an intercom at the home's front gate and said that "Paco" wanted to see Fenn.

Alarmed and having received threats from Chavez before, Fenn got out a small gun and went toward the gate, but then he was nowhere to be seen.

Police were also called and searched the Fenn property.

"He seems to be drawn to the belief that the treasure is Mr. Fenn's granddaughter, and he's been stalking her for quite some time," Valdez said. "The family said he's been engaged in this type of activity for almost five years."

Chavez told police that blog discussions had convinced him that the hidden treasure might be on Fenn's property.

Police arrested Chavez on Monday in Nevada and is being held at the Clark County Detention Center without bond as of Monday evening with a scheduled court date on Thursday morning.

"For us, it was a relief that he was taken into custody," Valdez said.

Chavez received three years of probation last year for stalking the Fenn family.