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Unlikely: Suicide note ignites wild treasure hunt

  • Sportswriter leaves behind lengthy blog after his death
  • Reveals he had $200,000 in gold and silver coins
  • Treasure hunters descend on park with shovels to find stash
Unlikely: Suicide note ignites wild treasure hunt

The website that Martin Manley left behind is fascinating for many reasons. The Kansas City sportswriter who committed suicide last week wrote dozens of lengthy blog posts over several months, all shared on his site -- which he published shortly before killing himself August 15 outside the offices of the Overland Park Police Department.

From neatly stated explanations for his suicide to an album of photos from his life and lengthy opinions on topics ranging from religion to sports, the 60-year-old left behind plenty to consider.

But what has emerged as the most interesting part for many would-be fortune seekers is a few short sentences among the thousands Manley typed, which seemed to indicate where he had buried $200,000 in gold and silver coins.

In explaining how he was financially secure thanks largely to the coin purchases, Manley wrote "Gold was $300/ounce when I bought it and silver was $4/ounce. Gold went up to $1,700 and Silver to $44 making my stash worth over $200,000. 38.800542, -94.687884"

Those two numbers at the end match up with the coordinates of a Kansas City-area park, which was almost immediately swarmed by shovel-wielding gold rushers. Enough people showed up and began digging holes in the Overland Park Arboretum that police were forced to close off the area. Many of the treasure hunters posted updates of their search online.

For all the frenzy, the alleged buried treasure coordinates turned out to be fool's gold -- and a big nuisance to park officials.

"The alleged buried treasure is a hoax. Please be mindful of this and that the Overland Park Arboretum does not allow digging," they said in a statement.

Overland Park police say Manley's family told them he either gave away or sold the coins. "But he did not bury it," spokesman Sean Reilly told KCTV. "You have a better chance of winning a prize from the lotto than you do finding anything out here."

But because you're better safe than sorry (that you didn't locate a $200,000 fortune), the station reports police broke out metal detectors themselves to check the site. And they -- like everybody else -- came back empty-handed.

Follow Jonathan Anker on Twitter @JonFromHLN

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