Fort Yellowstone Cemetery

The Fort Yellowstone cemetery is shown in this photo.

A Utah man who was found digging in a historic cemetery in Yellowstone National Park to reportedly look for Forest Fenn’s treasure pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges of defacing archeological resources and United States property.

The trial for Rodrick Dow Craythorn, 52, of Syracuse, Utah, is scheduled for Dec. 14 in district court in Casper, Wyoming, according to a news release from the Wyoming U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Craythorn was indicted by a grand jury in federal court for two charges on Sept. 16. The first court was for knowingly removing and defacing archeological resources. The second count was for willfully damaging federal property.

Craythorn was found digging in the Fort Yellowstone Cemetery near Mammoth Hot Springs, where the park is headquartered. The Department of Justice believes the acts occurred between Oct. 1, 2019 and May 24, 2020.

Craythorn was reported to have been searching for Forrest Fenn’s treasure. Fenn was an art dealer and author from Santa Fe who announced in 2010 that he had hidden gold and jewels in the Rocky Mountains.

Inspired treasure hunters set out to search for the treasure across the West. The chest was found in Wyoming in June 2020. Fenn died in September.

Multiple people died searching for the treasure, including Jeff Murphy, who died after a fall from Turkey Pen Peak in the northern part of Yellowstone.

Another man was rescued from the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone after illegally rappelling down to look for the treasure this past winter.

Helena Dore can be reached at hdore@dailychronicle.com or at 582-2628.