People die looking for the Lost Dutchman gold mine in the Superstitions Mountains, including Jesse Capen from Denver. He apparently fell to his death on his first day of searching. From the Denver Post “Denver man’s search for Lost Dutchman mine likely ended in fall“:
At the end of November 2012, a day pack containing Jesse’s GPS equipment, his mother’s camera and his identification was found at the bottom of a 180-foot cliff on the same mountain. Searchers spotted a boot in steeper terrain above the day pack.
“All of a sudden — out of the blue — they found him,” David Capen said.
The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department sent a helicopter to the side of the cliff, and deputies rapelled down to a skeleton, which was retrieved in a wire basket.
People are still looking for the Lost Dutchman Mine in the Superstition Mountains in Apache Junction, Arizona. Including Jesse Capen who disappeared looking for it in January of 2010.
He had planned to return to Denver in time for Christmas, but he either walked away or was taken from his campsite, and his whereabouts remain a mystery. He could have been bitten by a rattlesnake, shot by another prospector or fallen and broken his leg and been devoured by a bear, Burnett said.
“Deputies suspect foul play may be involved because there is no sign of him,” she said. “Even if he would have been eaten by wild animals, there would be shoes and clothes left behind.”
Capen, who had never married, worked a graveyard shift as a bellhop at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel the past 11 years. For 10 years, he spent his free time studying the legend of the Lost Dutchman mine.
“This is beyond obsessed,” Burnett said. “He has more than 100 books and maps on the legend. This was like research for a Ph.D. This is a classic case of a man’s search for treasure.”
I’ve been camping a few times in the Superstition Mountains when I lived in Arizona as a kid. It’s hard to believe that a area relatively close to a major city, with today’s technology of Google Maps and GPS locators that someone could disappear so easily.
As far as I know, Jesse Capen has not been found.