Randy Bilyeu; No Longer a Missing Person in Search of Forrest Fenn's Treasure RIP
The Search For The Missing Treasure Hunter
Randy Bilyeu is not just a missing treasure hunter in Santa Fe. He is a father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend. Unfortunately he is now a missing person who needs to be found. Randy is my ex-husband and father of my children. I have known this man for almost 32 years. His family knows how he ticks, so we thought.
Randy moved to Colorado 2 years to live his dream. To find Forrest Fenn's treasure after he viewed a segment on the Today Show in which additional clues were announced. This article is not about the treasure. It's about Randy and how his family is distraught and confused. This article is about the many compassionate citizens who have reached out during this time to help find Randy. It's about learning how at times, you can't just rely on the police, due to low resources, holiday weekends, short staffed or whatever...you must do what you can to be part of the team in helping to find a missing person!
We have heard quite a few times that Randy should not have taken a raft on the Rio Grande during the winter. That is just not done. But, it has been done. The man was on a mission to find that darn treasure chest. In addition Randy always had a tendency to do things his way. He had told our daughters about his intention to search areas of the Rio Grande, but he told them he would wait until the spring season. He confided in two friends that he would be making this trek on January 5th. They pleaded with him to wait, but he didn't listen to their pleas.
So many people are perplexed by his decision. Which wasn't a wise one, but oh well...now we are on a mission to find Randy and we will not stop until he is found.
I have accumulated a mountain of tips and clues after endless conversations from friends, family and caring individuals who all want the same thing...to find Randy!
On January 14th, I entered a world that I didn't know existed when I reported Randy missing to the Santa Fe PD. I entered a world of treasure hunters. They had rushed to the rescue! A world of driven and dedicated people who consider themselves a family. They care for each other as if each searcher is part of their family.
The treasure hunters rushed to assist and have gone without sleep, food and they spent endless hours creating scenarios and mapping out possible coordinates. They took time off from work to help with the search. We have been overwhelmed with their compassion and thoughtfulness.
Originally he had planned to set sail on January 4th, but he wasn't able to get his raft ready on time. On January 5th he set sail on his inflatable raft with his beloved dog, Leo, in tow. They both have had many adventures together. They were an inseparable duo.
This was supposedly a one day trip as told to his friends. He intended to set sail, explore the areas he needed to and head back to the car. He had a sandwich waiting for him in his car for after his trip down the river. (Update: The sandwich was actually a bag of pretzels.)
The Santa Fe New Mexican
- Volunteers, Forrest Fenn keep up search for treasure hunter - The Santa Fe New Mexican: Local News
Dozens of volunteers with a spiritual kinship for a missing treasure seeker will gather Tuesday morning in hopes of finding 54-year-old Randy Bilyeu.
Just The Facts
I know there are many people who care about Randy and his family, so I am going to share a timeline of facts that we put together.
January 2nd - Randy arrived in Santa Fe.
January 3rd - Checked out of the Motel 6.
January 4th - Purchased the raft from Big 5 Sporting Goods. Texted one friend. Spoke with another. Also texted his sister. Scouted near the river. Mentioned to one friend, not to be concerned since he has a GPS, wetsuit and waders. Whether or not he was wearing the wader or wetsuit, we do not know.
January 5th - Went rafting on the Rio Grande in search of his passion, the treasure. It was on this day that his best friend began to call him. Randy's phone went directly to voicemail. There is no cell service in the canyon. Supposedly there was a mysterious sound, a possible whistle that a Forest Ranger heard mid-morning. Will we ever know if that sound was relevant? Randy did own a whistle and normally carried one.
January 6th - 13th - Best friend continued to call the phone and continued to panic. He contacted me for help about 10pm on January 13th.
January 14th - 7am I filed a missing person's report and the anxiety, stress and confusion began. The SFPD found his car. Supposedly the car was spotted by the Rio Grande on January 5th by a Forest Ranger (found this out later) and by a security guard, but nothing was suspected and the car wasn't inspected. The car was spotted again on the 12th and reported, but nothing was done until I called the police on the 14th.
January 15th - The SFPD did not have a chopper available so they requested the assistance of a medical transport company. The medi-team found the raft and Leo!! ALIVE! Yes, Leo survived the frigid temperatures. Randy had placed a sweater on him which helped save his life. Leo survived 10 days with no food, but he did have the water from the river to drink.
I remember after Hurricane Katrina when dogs were found in homes 4 weeks afterwards and they were alive! Barely, but they survived and flourished. Neither the raft nor Leo were tied down. Leo was free to roam a very confined area. It took Leo about 30 minutes to calm down before he would accept a piece of a granola bar from the nurse on board. Of course he was traumatized and he missed his daddy! But where was his daddy? He growled at the rescuers, barked and was defensive. Do you blame him? The helicopter added to his already traumatic state. Randy had shared a story that occurred two years ago when him and Leo were hiking. They were approached by a mountain lion. Leo stood his ground by snarling and growling...the mountain lion retreated. Way to go, Leo! If only he could talk.
Leo is now in foster care of a loving family until further notice.
January 16th - The family...5 members had no contact from the SFPD. It was a holiday weekend. We called, we left messages. No contact. I called the NMSP who said only the detective on the case can the give details of the investigation. (Are you joking? Nope!)
Our only lifeline was the NMSAR who never gave up. They searched through the weekend. These amazing volunteers reached out and kept in touch with the family. The mission of a search and rescue team is to save lives, they take this task personally. They search as if the missing person is their own family member. They leave no stone unturned. But they searched their designated area and didn't find Randy.
The designated area began at their IPP - Initial Planning Point, which was the raft and searched until they couldn't search anymore. Due to the river, which NMSAR volunteers do not search and the dangerous terrain their search area was limited, but they still gave it their best shot.
They needed more clues. More evidence. Which we understand. These heroic volunteers can only do so much. I did hear that local residents and other treasure hunters were searching for Randy. We were so thankful.
Randy's family and volunteer citizens set out to get more evidence. More clues.
Treasure Hunters Set Out To Seek Randy
January 17th - I was so frustrated that today I reached out to the Mayor of Santa Fe and the Governor of New Mexico for help! I simply could not understand how wrong this investigation was being handled. If at first you don't succeed, you gotta keep on trying! Never give up!
A Sergeant from the SFPD told the Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper that they were never told that Randy was looking for the treasure? Are you kidding me? When I phoned in the missing person report I told the detective that Randy was there searching for Forrest Fenn's treasure. She said, Yes I have heard about that treasure. At that time she should have added that vital information to the missing person's report and notified her sergeant. Well, at least that is what they would have done on Law and Order or on Longmire!
January 18th - NMSAR suspended the search due to not enough evidence or clues. But the volunteers and treasure hunters did not stop! They searched leaving no log unturned. Granted there are more rocks and boulders in the vast search area, but supposedly the treasure is hidden in or near a log...whatever that means.
January 19th - Once again, I was reading an online newspaper. I caught the name of the other friend that Randy had told about this adventure to! His ex-girlfriend who also lives in Colorado! As a team my family found Tonya's number. I called her. She had a map! I asked why she didn't call the police sooner? She said she just found out on Saturday that Randy was missing! She tried calling. Over the weekend she called the number (SFPD) that was on the missing person's photo and no one answered the phone. She then found an online article and contacted that reporter.
She sent me the map, I sent the searchers the map. It was not a detailed map with a pinpointed location, it was a map that only Randy understood.
On this day the searchers mostly consisted of treasure hunters. It was a private search arranged by Forrest Fenn who is also trying to find Randy. I would hope so, since he is the one who hid the treasure chest.
NMSAR did do an air search, but ground searches are still suspended. The detective in charge of the case did snap some surveillance photos of two male campers. One with a red jacket on and one with a blue jacket. Randy wears a two tone blue jacket! I was sent the photos which are blurry and pixelated due to the distance. I along with 6 family members checked the photos, one of them could possibly be Randy! We just aren't sure. These men weren't questioned. They did not show signs of distress. They just watched the copter fly by.
If you are interested in more info about Forrest Fenn and the treasure, I suggest you use Google. This article is not about that. This article is about what we can do to find Randy and bring closure to his family.
After MANY requests and pleas the New Mexico State Police FINALLY towed Randy's car! They were still waiting on a search warrant to search it. Protocol. It's been 15 days since anyone had contact from Randy and they are waiting on a search warrant. They found the car 6 days ago, it was first spotted on the 5th and first reported on the 12th and they are still waiting on a search warrant. Wow. I suggest to never go missing on a holiday weekend in Santa Fe.
I, once again phoned with the detective on the case. I asked her why her sergeant was unaware that Randy was searching for the treasure. She did not have an answer. I stopped communication with her and passed her off to my daughters and Randy's sister. I have zero tolerance for incompetence, just one damn job! Do it right or step aside!
January 20th - Randy is still missing. I will update as needed. I will try my best to answer your questions below, if I have the answers.
As I said Randy's car was spotted on the 5th by a security guard and a Forest Ranger. It was spotted again on the 12th and reported, nothing was done by the police until I reported Randy missing on the 14th. On the 14th they found the car. We asked if they searched the vehicle. No they didn't. Friday they didn't search it. Then the 3 day weekend. NMSAR put in a request to search the car. They were told by SFPD that they needed a search warrant. Yet the car still remained in the spot that Randy parked it. I called the NMSP and put in a request to search the car. I received photos of a map on the dash. They sent me back to the SFPD who said they needed a search warrant. Oh my! On the 19th I called the detective and asked her if the car was towed yet. She said no, we left it there for the 3 day weekend just in case Randy walked out of the area he could drive it. Are you kidding me lady? Later that day my daughters and Randy's sister placed phones calls to the detective and the car was finally towed. But the detective in charge said they still need a search warrant. On Jan 20th...that same detective told my daughter when she once again called to see if they received the search warrant, that "I spoke with the DA and we do not need a search warrant!"
All together now... "You had one job!"
Today I received an email from the Governor that I will be contacted from Public Safety Department. Within an hour they phoned. We spoke, I vented, he explained, he was considerate and I felt a bit better. Kudos to the Governor for caring enough to help our family find Randy. I did find out that NMSAR was never notified that the car was towed and was about to be searched. They should have been notified. They requested to be notified. They are New Mexico's search and rescue team!
I'm not sure if Randy's disappearance could become a comical movie or a drama. It's surreal! I never imagined any scenario like this. It's a daily vicious circle.
As of now, the car hasn't been searched. I did find out that the SFPD supposedly did ping his phone when I reported him missing, the last location was the Motel 6 on the 3rd, then just random cell towers. Yet, he did use his phone many times on the 4th.
No one has searched his car or apartment in Colorado for his laptop which could contain vital information. After many pleas of having Leo help search for his daddy, they still haven't done so. But we do know the area around the Rio Grande is rough terrain and Little Leo's paws could be injured and we do not want that for him.
I had a lengthy and very productive conversation with NMSAR today. I did learn that the car was finally searched and a map with five X's was discovered. Later on I found out that the X's were irrelevant. Once again, only Randy could understand the X's. Maybe one day we might find out if those markings were relevant to the case, but right now...we do not know.
Quote of the day ... "If this investigation wasn't so serious, it would actually be comical."
Santa Fe Flyer - Randall not Randell, Blue eyes, not green. Both of which I clearly stated.
Map Found In Randy's Car
Randy was spotted on his trip to Santa Fe for Winter Solstice
On 12/24/15 Randy was at the Santa Fe National Forest Supervisor's Office off Highway 14 from 1012 - 1019 am. He brought a visitor map in with him, and he was asking if there was a road on the Caja del Rio Plateau that would take him to the east rim because he wanted to take photographs of Bandelier National Monument and wanted to get photos from different positions out there. He pointed at the Frijoles Canyon area. Thomas and Josh gave him the SFNF Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) and pointed him towards Forest Road 24NB but then said he'd have to walk from there because you aren't supposed to drive on any the roads if they aren't on the MVUM. He told them that he was driving around out there earlier and got lost and pointed to the area east of Colorado Peak. (there are a lot of roads out there are few have signs because people shoot them)
He came in with that Santa Fe NF visitor map that was in his car - the one with the "SUN" symbol on it. My guess is he might have bought it at PLIC - the BLM Public Land Info Office that is up the road, and maybe since he was asking such detailed questions about SFNF they advised him to come to the SFNF office.
Since we only started selling that visitor map a few months ago, I thought he bought it in our office and this morning I asked our front desk employees if they recognized him, a guy asking questions about the Caja and Bandelier. And they did.
They never caught his name but this seems pretty likely it is Randy. They really thought he looked like him. He did not bring Leo inside. He did not mention the FF treasure. They assumed he was a professional photographer.
Family confirmed it was Randy in the photographs.
Jan 21 - This is the map that was found in Randy's car. The X areas coincide with photos taken during his December trip. They are his scouting notes. The first X is near the mesa, close to where his raft was found. The second X is a good shot to the Frijoles Canyon. The third X is I have no idea. I am burned out on X's. The HOB is from the Fenn poem. Home of Brown. Again, no idea. Ask Google.
His phone was properly pinged via NMSAR. Last call was on Jan 5th at 8:17 am. A call from his friend that went to voicemail. Randy was one hour away from the river. Supposedly according to calculations he parked his raft on the sandbar about 1-2pm.
A treasure hunter suggested that possibly Randy's timing was for the winter solstice. This also has to do with the Fenn poem to "find the treasure." We do know he was in Santa Fe on December 22nd which was the date of the solstice, I guess, but he didn't go near the river. Possibly he concocted a plan for the 5th and the sunset. This is just speculation due to the clues collected. We just don't know.
If he was seeking the sun rays, supposedly that has to do with the poem, then we just might have the answer as to, "Why would he go rafting in the winter?" The question that so many curious minds are perplexed about.
We do know that his wallet was in his car. So this means if something did happen to him he had no ID. I called the jail on January 14th. I called 5 surrounding hospitals, twice in 8 days. I asked for John Doe's. No hits.
There were two campers/poachers spotted 6-7 miles south of the raft area along the Rio Grande. They were seen by a police helicopter yesterday. The "detective" on board did take photos. One was wearing a jacket similar to the one that Randy owns, but the photos were so blurry we can't really tell. We were told that one of the campers vehicles was possibly located. The area is popular for hikers, the car could not even belong to one of those two campers. Anyway, who camps in the winter? To each his own.
Today's volunteer search was appreciated. While we are very thankful for the few volunteers who are still searching, we just wish someone would solve this mystery. The searchers received the incorrect coordinates and time was wasted.
Could there be foul play involved? We will not rule anything out at this point. Has law enforcement fingerprinted the raft or car? Not that we were made aware of.
Could he have drowned? It's possible, supposedly he had a wetsuit and waders with him. The river is low which makes visibility a plus. The river was searched MANY times, no hits. Searched by air and searched by the New Mexico Dive Team. But Randy was supposedly in the area for 11 days before anyone went to search, he could have been swept away into Cochiti Lake which has sections there were iced over. The kayak team that searched from the lake to the river and from the river to the lake were met by an ice dam, which is chunks of the frozen river moving into the lake and blocks the passage from the river to the mouth of the lake.
Could he have slipped and fell? Once again that is possible. We just don't know. What I do know is that the treasure hunters are one heck of a team and if I ever go missing I want them to search for me! And they said they hope I search for them! This is what I refer to as Teamwork.
I learned a shocking fact today, missing person flyers are no longer used and social media is the way to go. Really? Orlando never received that memo! On storefronts, trees, utility poles, car windows...we use them and chances on we will never stop. They are very useful! Not everyone has access to social media. Especially campers down in the Rio Grande. There is a forest nearby, there are trees, there must be utility poles nearby. Randy has no ID. It seems to me that the sensible thing to do is use missing person flyers.
Quote of the Day: I fear the day when the technology overlaps with our humanity. The world will only have a generation of idiots. - Einstein
Campers that were spotted south of the Rio Grande...
Keep your assumptions off the local news, Tom!
- Forrest Fenn joins search for missing treasure hunter near Santa Fe | KOB.com
Plenty of people have searched for Forrest Fenn's infamous hidden treasure over the years. But it was Fenn doing the searching Thursday afternoon for a Colorado man who went missing trying to find the treasure near Santa Fe.
Carissa pleading for help to the campers that were spotted near the river...
- Treasure hunter from Colorado vanishes while looking for gold in New Mexico | FOX31 Denver
BROOMFIELD, Colo. -- A treasure hunter is now the one being hunted. In early January Randy Bilyeu set out on his search for a hidden treasure he believes is buried near Santa Fe, New Mexico. His raft, dog and car have all been found, but still no sig
Jan 22 - I found out today that Randy's hiking boots were in his car. That is not good news! Hopefully he had another pair with him, but while the raft was small and Randy was tall he could only fit so many extras with him. But, supposedly there was enough room for him, Leo and a backpack.
Today the search continues with volunteer treasure hunters. Drones and ATV's were used. Our support team, those who cannot be on the ground searching, but are on social media, send prayers that searchers are safe and there are no injuries or missing person reports!
Last night's local news in Santa Fe had an interview with the helicopter pilot who went searching with FF. According to Tom...he said Randy drowned! How rude! Who says that on local news? That was unprofessional and tacky of KOB to allow Tom the chopper pilot to predict Randy's possible demise on the news while Randy's sister and nephew were in town and watching the segment! Think before you speak and before you release a sensitive segment such as that.
Carissa, our oldest daughter did contact one news station to request their help in having the camper's photo on the news...Fox did a segment, yet they "forgot" to show the photo of the campers! Ugh! Carissa did very well. I am extremely proud of my daughters and their strength. Another station called her shortly after, I am unsure of the other news outlet at this time.
The search didn't turn out the way we had hoped. But tomorrow is another day. We got this! Once again thank you to the volunteer searchers for their dedication in the search for Randy. You are very much appreciated!
I did learn that the SFPD did post one Missing Persons Flyer on Buckman Rd. Just one. Resources must be tight.
Detective on the case was not in the office today. And it's Friday. Another 3 day weekend possibly?
The Santa Fe National Forest Supervisor's Office did share a post (as shown above) and photos of when Randy was visiting there on December 24th. Someone there has a good memory! They remembered the conversation and Randy!
Did he commit suicide? No, he did not. We strongly believe that is not a possibility.
WARNING: The death hoaxes have begun. There are some sick people in this world. Proceed with caution. Until you hear from the family, there is still hope that Randy will be found.
January 23 - I believe Randy has found the treasure. If there really is any treasure. Or maybe we have been hunting for Randy for so long that I have lost my mind. Who knows? I surely don't. This search for the missing treasure searcher has been quite a mystery. The police and SAR have no more clues. They searched the areas that they thought he "should" be due to the location of the raft and Leo. They searched the river by foot and Lake Cochiti by air, three times. Where the heck is Randy?
Yesterday the volunteer searchers found via their drone pilot photos, a small piece of blue fabric wedged in some brush, possibly a piece of his backpack? I didn't think so since it was a darker blue. But there was a ray of hope! Many hunters were hopeful! Heck, we were all hopeful! But that tip was a dead end.
I did delegate who in our family should be in contact with who. We have all the bases covered. We are NOT giving up until we find Randy. We are a family on a mission who will hunt down the hunter until we are hunted out and then we will hunt some more. That is how we roll.
Could Randy be at Frijoles Canyon? This is a very dangerous area! Especially since the fires there in 2011. I reached out to SFPD, but as you know it's the weekend. I reached out to NMSAR, but since it's the west side of the river due to "protocol" they can not search there. State vs Federal. Ugh! It doesn't matter that a person's life is at stake...yes, a person who should not have ventured in a dangerous area, but who the heck are we to judge! Supposedly the Bandelier Rangers did search this canyon in the beginning of the search. NMSAR did mention to me on the 18th, when I asked for possible coordinates, that the volunteer searchers could search it also. WITH CAUTION! Regardless...the volunteer searchers are on the mission! They won't back down!
If only SFPD searched Randy's car sooner. If only his friend had contacted me sooner. If only Randy told his family his plans instead of his friends. If only Randy waited until Spring! So many "if onlys."
Our family is overwhelmed with all the love, support and help from strangers around the country who have reached out to offer assistance. If only Randy knew how much his disappearance has affected so many kindred spirits who want nothing more than for him to suddenly appear with a beaming smile as wide as the Rio Grande proudly proclaiming that he found that damn treasure. If only we really knew if that treasure truly existed.
January 24th - We arranged for a searcher named Dave to use his drone to video areas of the Frijoles Canyon.
Unfortunately, Dave did try but he was told NO DRONES allowed by a Bandelier National Park, Law Enforcement Ranger. The searchers cannot fly over their airspace even from the east side.
My daughter spoke with the ranger: The ranger said they did a thorough and extensive search and they found footprints that could "possibly" be Randy's but they "possibly" looked like they came in and went out. He could have parked the raft there, but they saw no evidence of raft drag marks, but the water could have washed away any evidence of raft or footprints since this agency didn't search the area until 10 days after Randy arrived, just like SFPD and NMSAR. If they receive any more evidence of him being there then they will search it again. It is possible that he parked his raft on the west side, searched the area for what he was looking for, got back in the raft and headed to the east side with Leo. So now we are back at the east side. Wow...Randy's disappearance is a vicious circle.
We are dealing with so many obstacles. State vs Federal. City Police vs State Police! Why can't everyone just work together as a team and find Randy! Teamwork, people, Teamwork!
My heart aches for my daughters and granddaughters. They are so confused, so sad, so upset. They didn't ask for their lives to be turned upside down due to a choice made by their father. But it is a lesson learned. My girls are strong, they will prevail. I am so extremely proud of them.
I am thankful for my friends who are helping me along the way. They were there for me when my husband passed away from cancer 6 months ago and they are here once again for me, while I help search for my ex-husband. I, for one, am done with husbands.
Kathy, Randy's older sister lost her husband suddenly in September. Randy and Kathy's mother passed away one year ago...so much sadness happened amongst us within one year. Our family could all use some heartwarming, not more heartbreaking news. My granddaughters cannot lose two grandpa's within 6 months.
January 25 - Message from Randy's previous roommate...
Please know that Randy is in my prayers.
Randy was a roommate for a short period and a very nice guy. So sad that the authorities could not do their jobs Linda, so glad that you have taken the initiative!
Randy once told me that we thought the treasure was behind a waterfall. I do not know if this will help in finding him... I can only hope! ~Patrick
January 25 - SFPD is still not releasing the car and contents since this case is still under investigation. It's not a criminal case "yet," still a missing person's case.
Sadly, Frijoles Canyon will not be searched again. I understand it's a dangerous area, but the family has right to be bummed because if he is there we might never know. They are sticking to the report from the Bandelier Rangers that footprints were discovered going in and out and heading south, SFPD does not have photos or evidence of this, "yet."
While searching Google today for an unrelated story, I came upon many stories about hikers that have gone missing in New Mexico. So many have gone missing and so many were rescued. What impressed me was hearing the stories as told by the New Mexico Search and Rescue team members. I am a big advocate of teamwork, but these men and women take teamwork to a whole new level. I have a newfound respect for search and rescue workers. Their dedication to saving lives goes unrecognized to those who never had to use their resources, hopefully you never will, but if you ever should, you will also be amazed.
Please take a moment to read about another hiker missing in NM
- Search goes statewide for missing hiker
Family and friends are asking for help finding an experienced hiker, who has been missing for two months.
Maybe it's time to hunt for the treasure to find the treasure hunter!
January 26 - When I began this blog I never imagined I would still be updating it for this long. Possibly I'm gullible? No. Optimistic? Yes! I believed that surely by now Randy would have been found. In one way or another. I do realize from the start we encountered a few obstacles. Such as not reporting him missing until 10 days after his last contact with anyone. Also the many hiccups that occurred with the investigation from the start and still encounter hiccups along the way.
If anything positive comes out of this hot mess I hope it's that many people learned a lesson and the next time they will do their best to act quicker.
I continue to try have missing person flyers posted around the area, but social media is the way to go. Yet, I am still baffled how a poacher or camper on the Rio would have internet service. So, I have begun to reach out to area businesses and newspapers to ask them if they could post this blog on their Facebook page and tweet it on Twitter. Possibly place a link on their Instagram or share on Pinterest. Whatever anyone could do to help spread the word in the Santa Fe area will be greatly appreciated. Just copy the link, search for businesses in the area and share away. So many people have offered to help me and I am so grateful. Our family is so thankful.
Carissa had an interview with Inside Edition today. The show will air tomorrow. Stay tuned!
Since we all have scenarios running through our minds, I decided to share one. While we are all baffled as to where Randy is, we are more baffled as to how Leo was still there by the raft. How could that be? Randy would never, ever leave Leo! Well just suppose that Leo had run off to explore something or chase a rabbit, he's a dog, he is adventurous too! Leo and Randy separated before, but they always found each other. They are independent and stubborn males.
Perhaps these two free spirits had a spat of some sort and needed some cooling off time? Anyway...Randy FOUND the treasure (if it exists) he then went to find Leo to hightail it outta there! How? I do not know, I tried and tried to think like Randy, but then my head begins to hurt and I must snap myself out of it. Anyway, Randy sadly assuming Leo might have drowned because he cannot find him and only has seconds to decide what to do next...leaves. How? Once again, don't know. But, it's a bittersweet time for Randy. So, in a nutshell, only one person knows where the damn treasure is and if Randy could have possibly found it which would help support this theory. The End.
The end of that theory, but not this one. Frijoles Canyon - Upper and lower Falls...needs to be accurately checked again. Do NOT tell me that a Ranger found footprints in and out of that area and yet there are no photos in the possession of SFPD to back that theory up.
UPDATE: I spoke with NMSAR. Frijoles Canyon was checked on Sunday, the following day after he received my email with the photo/text above. Upper and lower falls. Unfortunately they did not find Randy. But we so appreciate NMSAR for searching. The waterfalls are not running at this time, they are dry. Also if the "treasure" was there, it would be 12-15 feet under mud, so I strongly advise against searching there.
The East Rim where the raft was located was also checked multiple times, chances are slim to none that Randy tried to climb out.
Information that I had, but forgot, then remembered again. When a treasure hunter has a solve, they email or snail mail it to Forrest Fenn. So before each search Forrest Fenn basically knows where a searcher is searching, makes me wonder if Randy even sent his solve for this search...only one person knows that. Will he tell the rest of us the answer to that very important question?
We will not give up!
22 Days Missing...
January 27 - The search continues. A new searcher contacted me last night via email. I placed him in good hands. Bob M really seems to know the area and is one determined man! I ask for prayers and positive thoughts for all the searchers who are taking the time to help find Randy.
I shared this blog with Reddit, Los Alamos Newspaper shared it on their Facebook, my team at HubPages are seeking out fellow writers in Santa Fe...whether you are near or far, if you have a few minutes to find a connection to a Santa Fe business or community that is willing to share this blog I would greatly appreciate your help! If you have friends or family in the area, please share!
We got this! #TeamRandyBilyeu
1-28 Inside Edition episode: Lily, our 3 yr old granddaughter was excited to see her pop-pop on TV, poor girl has no idea.
24 Days Missing
January 28 - Seriously? 24 days missing? 2 weeks since I reported him missing? How in the world has Randy not been found yet? No one just drops off the face of the earth! Unless they want to, which is not true in this case. There is absolutely no reason Randy would want to or need to vanish. He led a solitary life, he loved his family and friends. He often spoke or texted with them. He wasn't wanted by the law. He didn't have money problems.
His apartment lease is up at the end of February. He had talked about moving back to Florida and about moving to Santa Fe. He wasn't sure yet, but one thing his family is sure of is that he did not escape the reality of his life. Actually, who hasn't thought about escaping their life and starting a new one? Heck, I have! For about 5 minutes, then it passes.
On the flip side was foul play involved? That is a possibility. There are NO impossibilities in the Search for Randy Bilyeu. Yet, the police still consider this a missing person's case. They could be correct, yet they could be wrong. Yet the raft, vehicle and oars have all be tampered with and any evidence of foul play is null and void. I suggested fingerprinting these items a couple of weeks ago, but was told...not for a missing case. OK, I sure hope they are correct and foul play never gets placed on the table.
I heard about a treasure hunter from Texas who went missing in 2013, further upstream from where Randy was, on the west bank. Luckily, she was rescued after only one night because she was very close to her trail and had cell service. If you are reading this...please contact me! (Update: Channon and I did speak, more to follow below.)
Volunteers continue to help in the Search for Randy, but hope is beginning to diminish. Yet, the searchers do not want to give up! No one wants to give up! NMSAR doesn't want to give up and they haven't, they just need "something to work with!" If you have anything to offer them, please do so. Robert.Rodgers@state.nm.us
Yes, we all hoped and prayed for a happy ending. That moment when Randy walked out of the forest and was stunned when he saw a missing person's poster with his name and face on it...only to say, "can't a man just go camping without his ex-wife sending a search party for him!" If only. But that is not the case here. We never assumed it was. But, I always look for the positive in a situation, no matter how somber it is.
Folks, today I leave you with...our family's gratitude for all your support. No matter where you are your prayers, positive thoughts, tips, advice, etc...are heartwarming. We appreciate you!
Quote of the Day: "Never Give Up!"
Search Information - Courtesy of John P.
There are a finite number of ways out of the canyon: east bank, west bank, and downstream. West Bank and downstream start off with a check mark against them since the raft was on the east bank. The river has been searched by boat and air from Buckman to the ice at Cochiti. This lowers the downstream odds further still. SAR searched the main west bank from Buckman to Frijoles. Nora searched Ancho on foot. I searched it by air. There are other west bank trails to civilization: Red Dot and Blue Dot trails which have likely been hiked by locals since then. They are lower probability in any event because he'd have had to walk past Ancho where he'd already hiked to in order to get to them. Of course the east bank location of the boat is a mark against the west bank to begin with. That leaves the east bank. There are three east bank routes: (1)east bank on the river, (2)rim to Buckman by road, (3)rim to Buckman cross country.
If he planned on either 2 or 3 I don't think he made it to the rim. There is the Leo problem for one thing. I don't know why Leo would return to the raft from the rim. There is water on the rim. It is becoming increasingly unlikely that he is in between the rim and raft as a large number of people have scrambled on those slopes, including SAR. I think I'd have done the trail we used Saturday (and then (3)) but Bob Moore who knows that place like the back of his hand said (1) would have been his chosen route because once you clear the dangerous boulder hopping stuff between Frijoles and the top of Ancho rapid it is an easy walk to the car. The boulder-hopping section has been searched from the river and air but NOT from the ground. I keep a sort of thermal mental probability map if the search. Given the facts, (1) is burning hot now. (1) is dangerous not because it requires technical rock climbing ability but because it is brutal rugged terrain and is very easy to get hurt in*. If he started on (1) and was injured early Leo would likely have had to return to the river because there would be little/no water on the rock. He could easily have had a fall that ended up with Leo below him and unable to reach him. (1) would be very slow going and Randy would likely have been at least a little impatient. Impatience kills.
*I think the canyon Sam and I went into Saturday is similar. At one point I fell 3' into the arroyo at the bottom of the canyon because the rock I was standing flat-footed on decided to crumble. I caught my fall with my bad hand but was otherwise uninjured. Could just as easily have broken a leg.
SAR searched most of the east bank except for (1) from the ground.
You can put hiking Frijoles, a "big mistake" in Randy's words as an additional very unlikely west bank route.
January 29 - Randy's story went national via Associated Press and his missing case was mentioned on NBC, CBS and ABC. He also went national on Inside Edition, but how many people actually watch that show? Yet, we are grateful for any media attention that helps us to find Randy.
I was notified today that there were security cameras in the area that Randy had his car parked. Did the detective check the video of those cameras? We have no idea, she never mentioned it. We tried to contact her, but she is "out of the office" no surprise there, since it is Friday. This missing case just might go down in the books as the most dysfunctional case ever. I sure hope that someone, somewhere learned something and the next missing person will have a better shot at being found within a reasonable amount of time.
I'm not feeling the teamwork much. There are way too many cooks in this missing person's kitchen. We have treasure hunters, private searchers and SAR. Yet, it seems they are not working together.
Our goal is to find Randy! Not for recognition from FF, not to hopefully find the "supposed" treasure. Randy is the treasure! Why can't we all get on the same page and realize that! We are on the earth to help one another...so please do your part and work together to help find the treasure that we are all seeking. Share your clues, tips, solves, coordinates with each other. It's all about TEAMWORK.
We do have a possible search area. We might find Randy, we might not. We can only hope. We can also pray for the safety of the men and women of the rescue teams. They are doing their best to find Randy. We can also thank the many men and women who work from behind the scene by supplying maps, charts, phone numbers, links, ideas...they are also an integral part of the search. Godspeed!
January 30 - Day 25 since Randy pushed off on the raft. Reported missing 16 days ago, but feels like months. 21 days until Randy's 55th birthday. Many hearts that ache.
On Friday we discovered that there was a photo taken from a drone. The image was blurry but resembled a body that was sprawled out on the ground, which would have occurred due to a fall from a high cliff. Very eerie. That area was searched yesterday and no body was found. Talk about a stressful 24 hours!
January 31 - Drama has entered the building! Tensions are building. Frustration is rampant. Egos are bruised. Arguments are erupting. And this is just on social media. Wow!
Our family just might need therapy soon. We are now accepting referrals.
I contacted the FBI for assistance. Randy's missing person's case does not qualify for federal help unless the agency is contacted by the detective in charge. Good luck with that one! We can't even get her to contact us!
Well, I just found out that the media blitz isn't over yet. Someone seems to thrive in the spotlight. With a magazine interview. Really? Who can tell me how a magazine interview will help find Randy? The focus should be on the father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend who is missing....not another interview. If it wasn't for the "treasure" Randy wouldn't be missing. Our granddaughters are traumatized! Our daughters are barely getting by. Randy's sister is numb. His nephew who just lost his father is depressed. I am exhausted. Mentally and physically. How could an interview with a magazine help find Randy? I am beyond baffled. There is something so wrong with this missing persons case. This is all I can say now, but I am keeping notes...this is far from being over.
February 1 - A new month is upon us. Randy is still missing. Our hearts continue to ache. Our minds continue to be baffled. We have so much support from so many amazing people. Yesterday, a young man from Santa Fe took the time to hang flyers in the surrounding area. Another guy from Santa Fe shared video of the terrain along with music, which was refreshing, because as we know music is good for the soul. Drone videos from the search on Saturday was watched by many, many eyes, trying our best to find any sign of Randy.
I have selected a dream team that I could only wish I had to search for Randy. Olivia Benson from Law & Order, the team of Criminal Minds and Walt from Longmire. If only...at least he would have been found in under one hour!
The power of positive thinking is truly unbelievable. There is no room in my mind for negative thoughts. I am a realist and I do have faith in gut feelings. Everything does happen for a reason. We might never know the reason, but there is one. Or two. I believe there is so much more to Randy's disappearance than just slipping in a river and drowning. Others might beg to differ, which is fine. I have been wrong before and I will be fine if I am wrong again. Time will tell...
Facts from a Searcher Who Was At The Raft Location Today...
"We documented the approach to the raft, initial inspection of the raft and area around the raft as best as possible with my cameras. I did check the area under the raft carefully before moving it, but it was too difficult to video that part due to the prickly vegetation making gloves a necessity when bending down to see under the raft and bad lighting. Here's a quick list of observations:"
- There is no sign of blood on the raft but the raft was significantly damp on both sides - which almost certainly rules out useable fingerprints in my opinion.
- The prickly vegetation makes it unlikely the raft itself was set up as a shelter for Leo but the trees behind the raft create a space almost like a thatch hut and the raft could have been placed to help with additional insulation. The large rock makes a very good windbreak.
- The foot air pump is functional.
- One oar is snapped completely in half and we did not see the broken missing section.
- The second oar was bent but still usable.
- The oar locks are intact and did not appear damaged.
- The raft had deflated significantly and one valve was completely open.
- The bottom tear was confirmed plus two small round holes.
_ There were no clear footprints in the area that were of an age to fit.
-- The partially inflated raft took 5 minutes to inflate.
- But using the electric air pump we were able to get most of the of the chambers to inflate.
- We recovered both oars but had to leave the raft and pump due to lack of time.
No one was able to return on Sunday to see if the raft remained inflated or how much air it had lost. But we do appreciate the thoughtful idea and the details of the search.
The searchers exited to the east rim via a trail...A TRAIL? Then why the heck didn't Randy take that trail? It was a one hour hike up to the east rim through very thick vegetation, but previous searchers had marked off the trail for other searchers to be able to use it. Possibly Randy had known about the trail but it was too dark when he attempted to get back to his car? The unnamed trail is not visible via Google Earth, possibly he didn't know the trail existed.
Does Teamwork Exist Among SF Jurisdictions?
Just to give you an idea of what we are dealing with in our search for Randy. First of all, you are aware that the detective in charge of this case hasn't been up to par. Our questions rarely get answered, which is just one of the reasons I needed to start a Facebook group, for HELP with answers to our questions!
We are dealing with the following agencies in Randy's Missing Persons case:
- The Santa Fe PD who the case is assigned to (Reminder..never, ever go missing in Santa Fe, you must step away from their county line and then proceed)
- New Mexico State Police
- SAR (Search and Rescue) Has used 81 Volunteers and 682 Hours
- There's a sheriff in town? For real? We haven't heard anything from him.
- Bandelier Rangers
- Cochiti Pueblo Tribal Police
- Broomfield Police Dept (where Randy had his apartment)
- US Forest Service
- New Mexico Dive Team
Today was a snow day in Santa Fe, so there was no searching. The searchers deserve the rest, but the snow didn't stop them from researching drone videos and creating accurate search areas so that when they are able to once again put their boots on the ground, they will not be searching over areas that were already searched and therefore wasting time.
According to snippet in the news media it was said with all certainty that Randy was searching West to Southwest of the area, when the clue is actually North to Northwest. But, after much research via an expert Randy was actually searching North to Northwest of Santa Fe. And that, is a fact! Randy might have went down the river on a raft in the winter because he had a damn good reason to do so.
February 2 - I am beginning to think we might require the resources of NM SAR to search for the detective in charge of this case! No one has heard from her since last week. Could she be missing also? Could two people have dropped off the face of the earth?
As we know, it does seem like Randy did drop off the face of the earth because by the evidence we have he was only planning a day trip. On the other hand, we are aware that the detective disappeared by choice. Possibly she is avoiding us? Maybe she doesn't want to solve this case? Perhaps she is considering criminal activity and isn't sharing with us? We have NO idea! Just in case, I have placed NM SAR on speed dial just in case I need to report another missing person.
As usual I arose to a few emails. One email touched my heart. She lives in the vicinity of where Randy vanished. Near the west side of the canyon. Supposedly, if Randy had happened to drown, he would have possibly floated by her home. This kind woman uses binoculars to search in hopes of bringing closure to this case. Bless her heart!
I received another email about a dog whisperer. Interesting. I just might look into that. If only dogs could talk. Yes, I say that often. "Supposedly" Leo is the last one who saw Randy...or was he? Was someone else there? We do NOT know. Am I suggesting foul play once again? Heck yeah! Why? Because we do NOT know. Will we ever give up? Nope.
I wish I had the capability to give up, but I do not. I was an unstoppable machine when my husband, Dave was fighting cancer. I left no stone unturned. I reached out to every resource available and beyond. That man wished to live, I wanted to grant him that wish and together we succeeded. In 2012 he was given 3-6 months when the cancer had spread to his brain, this was with or without radiation treatment. He was terrified, as was I. But, nonetheless he lived for another 2 years and had good quality of life until the cancer spread to his liver.
So how does my story with Dave help us find Randy? The answer is simple! Never give up until you have exhausted every possible avenue and resource! Never leave any stone, or in this case log, unturned. Adhere to your gut instincts and do not back down. Ask questions, there are NO stupid questions! Use your common sense. Most importantly THINK POSITIVE and TEAMWORK are both crucial in the search for Randy. Yes, I do repeat myself at times, but you must remember that not everyone hears me the first time. People get off track, their minds wander and get distracted. This is why I must repeat what is important.
- We have just one job, to find Randy
- Positive Thinking is crucial
- Teamwork is mandatory
Our family is so thankful for our Facebook group...they exemplify the good in the hearts of people. They share information with each other. They explore, search, advice, cheer each other on and most importantly, they work as a TEAM. All optimistic minds are welcome to join "Search For Randy Bilyeu."
There will be no searching today as mother nature is covering the search area with more snow.
Mirror (Website of the Year?) UK
Rant: The Mirror owes me an apology. How dare them say that I waited 10 days to report Randy missing! Sure, I have done some dumb things in my life, but to wait 10 days before reporting someone missing...never!
My response to them;
I did NOT wait 10 days to report Randy missing and I will not take the blame for it. I reported him missing when his "best friend" notified me that he was missing after waiting for 10 days. His "best friend" that was "supposedly" one of the only two people that Randy informed of his venture. If a member of Randy's family had known we would have reported him missing the next day. We would not have waited for 10 days "assuming" that he must have "drowned" before contacting the family. Get your facts straight.
How about Randy's grandchildren who are traumatized from this nightmare? His daughters that have been living through this nightmare? Oh, they don't sell newspapers so who cares...WE DO.
Update: Apology was never received. But it's all good. We know the truth.
February 3 - It's been 5 days since I requested assistance from the "detective" on the case. She has yet to respond to emails or voicemails from Kathy, Michelle, Carissa or I.
So, I took it upon myself to reach out to the water department to hopefully assist us with video footage from the security cameras that were near Randy's car. Chances are slim that the videos captured him driving his car or pushing off on the raft, but it NEVER hurts to ask. The reason I say chances are slim is because the cameras are there to protect the pump house compound, not to view the outer perimeters, so I have been told. I started with an email...fingers crossed!
Found out a couple of days ago that there is a sheriff in town and why hasn't the family been contacted by the sheriff's department. I dunno. Well, today I delegated Randy's sister to call the sheriff and they were just as surprised as we were that they did not have a case file! Are you kidding me? This isn't Mayberry folks, it's Santa Fe!
And the mystery of the security cameras in the parking area have been answered...not the answer we had hoped for, but now at least we know.
Our security cameras only have a live feed. We are not currently equipped with a recording system for these cameras. I did ask the BDD operations staff if they might have seen anything from that date, but no one remembers anything. We all hope that Mr. Bilyeu turns up safely soon.
Fact: The SFPD should have turned Randy's missing person case over to the Sheriff from Day One. They were not equipped to handle a missing person's case of this magnitude. Major fail on their part. Also major fail on my part, I am the one who called them to begin with since that is who the Broomfield Police in Colorado directed me to. We live and learn.
The Raft area 2.4.16
February 4 - I had a consult with our family attorney. Due to the way this case is being handled he suggested it was time to acquire the services in the Santa Fe area. So, if you are or know of a lawyer who has worked along with the police in a missing case before, please let us know. Pro bono would be greatly appreciated. Of course the PR is a bonus for them.
I filed a missing person's report with Texas Equusearch. I then spoke with them. He asked me questions. I answered. Back and forth. Question after question. They were impressed with all the searching that has been done so far. He asked me what the police think happened. I said, "no comment" since they never told us what they think. He asked what SAR thought happened, I said, "he's in the water." He had already drawn that conclusion. They focus on search and rescue, not search and recovery. While he was very helpful, he doesn't think they could assist in our circumstances. But, I gave it my best shot!
I also reached out to David Paulides who also hunts for treasure. Except his treasure is finding missing people. Haven't heard back from him yet.
I had a lengthy and informative discussion with a reliable source regarding Leo. He is doing well and thriving. Yet, he misses his daddy. Leo is a sniffer, he sniffs everything and everywhere, he is not a search dog. When he is told to STAY, he stays, but then follows. Leo stayed at the raft because that is where he was told to STAY and if he could have followed Randy he would have, but he obviously couldn't. So he did STAY by the raft and he waited. If he did get wet at any time he would not have survived that long wait of 11 days. That is a fact. Leo might not be a qualified search dog, but he sure is a survivor. This got me thinking about my dog, who also follows me wherever I go and sniffs everything, everywhere. I guarantee if I went missing, she could not find me. She would be clueless, she is not trained.
The family has come to the conclusion, which wasn't an easy one, but after many discussions with professionals that Leo will not be of use to search for his daddy.
Today after I picked my granddaughters up from school, we were walking through a trail where my oldest granddaughter (9 yrs old) spotted a blue stone and her expression was priceless. My youngest granddaughter (3 yrs old) was elated. They both yelled, "We found the treasure!" Oh my gosh. No. Just no.
I did more research today, as I do every day....I leave no log unturned. Not just me, but I have delegated areas of interest to many of my good friends and family members. We have had assistance from around the country! Randy isn't just a treasure hunter who went missing...he is a hero to many and a fool to some, but I will emphasize once again that Randy had a GOOD reason for doing what he did. There are no ifs, ands or buts. We will find out that reason. One day. Hopefully soon because it's time to find Randy and end the searching. This is out of control.
We just seem to keep coming back to the fact that Randy is in the water. Where else could he possibly be - so I thought, until I received an email late last night with a possible tip for foul play...ARE YOU KIDDING? And once again we start from scratch. Once again IF ONLY we had Randy's laptop this case might have been solved by now. But, NO, the DA still has possession and it is most likely collecting dust on a shelf somewhere.
Today I found out that the reason the SFPD has Randy's case is because Randy stayed at the Motel 6. Really, Randy? You couldn't have stayed at a motel that was in the jurisdiction of the Sheriff's or State Police? Anyway, I was speechless, for one second. So, because of where he spent ONE NIGHT his case had landed on the desk of a detective who I am assuming wrote him off as "in the water" from day one and gave up. Why am I assuming this? Because he still hasn't been found and the fact that we have to be forceful to get tasks completed. OK, I understand that there are other cases that need to be investigated, but a simple yes or no answer to emails would be appreciated.
Quote of the Day: "Never assume...you make an ass out of you and me!"
February 5 - One month ago today, Randy went rafting on the river in search of a treasure chest. Three weeks since the official search began. We will find him, we are not giving up! Whether he is alive or dead. In the water or on the ground, we will find him. This in no way implies that the family expects searchers to continue to search and endanger their lives! While we do appreciate all the assistance of the volunteer searchers, we do understand that they have lives also, they must move on. We will not hold this against them in any way, shape or form! We will not be discouraged or disappointed. We will always be thankful for the time and energy they spent on helping to find Randy. The family commends their heroic endurance and we salute them.
Randy might be found by a hiker, hunter or camper one day. He might be found by a fisherman. He could possibly be found by the community of White Rock who use binoculars to view the river with hopes of finding the man who has become one of their own. He might be spotted by members of the Pueblo Tribe who, twice a day, stop to view the Lake Cochiti for a floater. For all we know Randy could have encountered foul play and not be in the area at all...we just DO NOT KNOW. But, as of yesterday, I was leaning towards the river, until that damn email arrived in my inbox.
Quote of the Day - "Let the authorities take care of things professionally." Blind faith.
Shed on East Riverbank 2.7.16
February 6 - As I write this many volunteer searchers are exploring the area of the Rio Grande for Randy. They went equipped with motivation, determination and and mostly dedication. These men and women are on a mission with one purpose...to find a man who one month ago supposedly set sail on a frigid river with a goal that supposedly only he knew, only to fall off the face of the earth.
If only Randy knew how many lives have been affected since he vanished.
We are making progress with the SFPD! Teamwork at its finest. The Captain has been put on alert. He was somewhat familiar with the early details of the case. That was all. But we did get some questions answered. He said that retrieving his car and contents should not be a problem, until he was told the DA had the items. How long does it take the DA to release the items in a missing person case? It varies by case. Hopefully if they stick to their word we will no longer have a need for an attorney.
The police do NOT suspect foul play. But if a lead comes their way they will pursue it. And the same applies with NMSP. The case is not closed. Law enforcement along with SAR just need something to work with. So many are trying their best to supply what they need, but so far, we don't have anything.
Which brings us back to the possible chance that Randy is in the water. Whether the river or the lake. It's unfair to the family and searchers to "assume" that Randy is in the water and just throw in the towel. We are expected to wait until spring? Would they wait until spring if it was their family member? I just read last night that a man had drowned in the river and didn't resurface for 6 years!! In reality, yes, the water is frigid and ice is an issue. We DO NOT want to endanger any lives. If our only choice is to wait until spring, then we wait until spring. Except in the meanwhile, volunteer searchers who are off the clock continue to place their heart and soul into finding Randy. While those on the clock do not.
We continue to be extremely thankful and pray for their safety along with sending them positive thoughts. I wish there was more we could do. If you could think of anything please let us know...
I continue to call bogus on the foul play tip. I repeat: I do not have time or patience for drama. Please do not make your issues, my issues. Our mission is to find Randy...that is all.
Update: Randy was not found today. There are quite a few searchers who are disheartened but not ready to give up. If they did decide to give up, the family would support their decision.
Drone photos and videos were taken by Dave the Drone Guy.
I was contacted by two drone operators today. One out of California and one out of Texas. Not sure yet if they could help us due to regulations, jurisdictions etc...but I did find out today the drones are not allowed over the lake. The canyons cannot be photographed due to possible terrorism, It's a tribal/jurisdiction/protocol thing.
February 7 - Today is Superbowl Sunday. Randy's final voicemail which was on Sunday, January 3rd, he mentioned that he was looking forward to watching football. He would be rooting for the Denver Broncos.
The drone photos and video from yesterday continue to be analyzed. We hope to find some sign of Randy or anything that could point us in the direction of our missing person.
In the words of Randy, "It must be a sign!"
I was contacted this evening by a volunteer searcher. We created a group of searchers with a solid plan. All systems are a go. Positive thoughts are requested. We got this!
My favorite quote of the day ... "I keep hoping Randy will show up in Las Vegas with amnesia."
February 8 - A new week is upon us. We continue to search for Randy. We won't give up until he is found. No matter where he is. We appreciate all the assistance we have received so far. We are thankful for the searchers who continue to reach out to us and are new to the search. The treasure hunters have taken a hiatus, we no longer hear from them. I guess they went back to searching for their own treasure.
As long as we continue to spread the word about our missing person, people will find this blog and want to help because there are so many wonderful people in this world.
Whatever your part is in Team Randy's mission know that you are appreciated and no deed is too small. Every single thing you do makes a difference. Thank you!
Once again the SFPD has disappointed the family. We had hope, after contacting the captain on Friday and he promised to answer our list of questions on Monday, but he never did. Voicemails and emails left for the detective, sergeant and captain have gone unanswered. I never in my life have encountered so much dysfunction. Luckily, I rarely in my life had to deal with law enforcement. But I do watch Blue Bloods and the Reagan family would find this police behavior unacceptable. If only Frank Reagan was the Chief of Police on this case.
Quote of the day: "I have NEVER in all my years witnessed such an outpouring of help for a missing person from non-relations!"
February 9 - We continue to be ignored by the SFPD. Voicemails and emails go unanswered. We have wasted enough time. We now proceed to the next game plan.
My goal today is to reach out via media outlets to seek out new searchers. While we appreciate all that the current searchers have done, I sense fatigue which is not surprising. Like I mentioned previously, therapy might be on tap for more than just the family.
We aren't making progress. It feels like we are just going in circles and Randy isn't within the perimeters. Fresh eyes and a fresh outlook just might be what we need.
Yet we were told again today...Randy is in the river. Since I always root for the underdog and bet against the odds, I can't just accept that "the river" as an answer...I need proof. Proof? Yes, like a body!
Today was a game of hurry up and wait. I reached out to many. I made progress and then failed a few times. But as a team, we continue to move forward. Never give up!
Quote of the Day ... "Don't be an ass."
February 10 - You would think that as the days go by the search for Randy would get easier. Well, that would be incorrect thinking.
The search is just as frustrating as it was when it began on January 14th. We continue to have hiccups, roadblocks and miscommunication.
Quote of the day; "Do not allow this hot mess to defeat you!"
Requesting positive thoughts for a successful day!
Update: A perfect example of how things could change from one day to another. Your positive thoughts must be working because our family had a productive day. Kathy and Michelle spoke with the detective. We finally received some answers. We received the list of contents in the car. We received the missing person's report. We received the cell phone information.
NMSP along with SAR conducted a helicopter search of the river. They inspected some suspicious areas, but didn't find Randy. Yet, they tried their best!
I'm preparing a press release and my contact with the associated press pleasantly agreed to take it print! My objective is to keep Randy fresh in the minds of others. Also to reach out to more volunteer searchers who could help us find Randy.
I, along with six members of my Facebook group successfully planned a drone search today of areas of importance. They took over 300 photos during their search. Outstanding!
Needless to say, today was a stressful day, but it was worth every second, because today got us all one step closer to finding Randy.
February 11 - Another active day for Team Randy Bilyeu. I, along with the help of a very supportive friend issued a press release to the associated press. My objective is to have Randy's face and name in the media again. I also hope to reach out to others who have the abilities and capabilities to help us search for Randy.
We heard from the SFPD once again today to answer our questions! That my folks, is a record! Twice in one week, could we finally be making progress?
Tonight I received a gift from someone that I do not know. A person who somehow knows me, yet doesn't know me. A gift that made my heart full. If you are reading this, I thank you for your helpful knowledge that confirms what I thought all along...that Randy was looking exactly where he was led to believe.
Quote Of the Day - "Find your voice and when you do...fill the damn silence."
Associated Press article...
- Flight turns up no new evidence of missing treasure hunter | Albuquerque Journal
SANTA FE, N.M. -- Authorities have yet to uncover any new clues to the whereabouts of a Colorado man who went missing in northern New Mexico while looking for a…
February 12 - My awesome contact with the associated press has once again, come through and went to print with an update on the search for Randy.
Now that the weather is warming up in the area we hope that we could reach out to searchers who have time to help out.
Quote of the Day ... "Teamwork makes the dream work."
February 13 - Another week in the search for Randy has come to a close. We continue to have no leads on what happened to him. We do have many leads on what could have happened to him. but our mindset in on finding him, not creating more theories or scenarios.
I continue to be AMAZED at the the magnitude of people who reach out to us daily. Whether with their prayers, positive thoughts, suggestions, advice, tips, their extra eyes searching the photos and videos for signs of Randy...everything and anything is appreciated by the family.
I did quit a couple of times this week. The frustration and stress was a bit overwhelming and I did throw in the towel. Only to return after an hour. Who am I kidding?? I ain't no quitter. Sure, I did piss off many people during the past month, from just below the governor all the way to the police department, oh well...shit happens! We live and learn. I learned a lesson, I hope they did too.
Quote of the Day ... "Without you this mission will fall apart." I concur.
I will add that if it wasn't for Team Randy this mission would be a failure. My team knows the meaning of Teamwork! We are blessed. We will find Randy as a TEAM.
February 14 - Today is one month since I phoned in the missing person's report. One month since our world was turned upside down. It is difficult at times to comprehend that it has only been such a short time, it feels like much longer.
So much has happened in the past few weeks that my mind can not comprehend all that has transpired. I have learned more about Santa Fe, drone pilots, hiking, searching, the Rio Grande and New Mexico than I ever would have imagined!
Fact: We have yet to reach our goal.
Fact: We are not giving up.
Fact: I have the most amazing teams in place to search for Randy.
People continue to reach out from across the country who want to help in one way or another. I will forever be grateful for their dedication. Whether they are helping with extra eyes to scan photos. Or they are reaching out for others to help. Or they are offering advice. Or they are sending prayers. Everything and anything helps, so please do not feel that you are bothering me...please reach out.
In the past month I have been yelled at, reprimanded, told to slow down, pissed off many people and have been called a gold digger (that one is ironic) and I have dealt with unnecessary drama (and have been called a drama queen). The more I get knocked down, the more I get back up to fight. My brain doesn't know how to quit. It doesn't know how to just stop or slow down until a mission, any mission, is complete. It is who I am. Deal with it!
This past month has been a roller coaster of emotions. Decisions that had to be decided. Choices that had to be chosen. Tears, frustration, anxiety and stress have been rampant. From morning until evening...non-stop. But our motto is, "We got this!"
I have acquired many wonderful new friends. I am thankful that there is more good in this world than bad. Luckily I have encountered many good people with kind hearts who will not give up until Randy is found. They want to know what happened to Randy. They care about him. They care about his family. They want this mystery solved. They want answers too! We all want answers.
We will not accept "Randy is the river, just wait until spring and hopefully he will float up." That is not an acceptable answer.
Today we had a successful drone mission. Successful because the team I sent out returned home safely. We hope the video, once uploaded and viewed gives us more clues as to where Randy might be.
Quote of the Day: If you're walking down the right path and you're willing to keep walking, eventually you'll make progress. - Barack Obama
February 15 - One month ago today the search for Randy had its first boots on the ground. CareFlight conducted an air search for Randy and Leo. For over an hour they flew over the river, lake and surrounding areas. The team of three had just about given up on finding the daring duo when the nurse on board spotted a blue image in the brush on a sandbar, almost immediately she spotted a dog. The nurse on board spotted Leo who was frantically running in circles. The crew were elated that they had found life.
They carefully landed their helicopter on a frozen tributary. The trio of rescuers searched for over an hour. They left no stone unturned. They searched under the raft and to the sides of the raft. Meanwhile Leo stood his ground, protecting his turf. He snarled and growled while he backed away to the raft and tended to favor the right side.
They gave Leo his time to recover from his fright of the scary object that just landed in the supposedly last area that he saw his daddy and that supposedly he had spent the last 11 days, alone. Leo snarled and growled at them. He seemed terrified, but eventually he warmed up to the nurse when she shared a piece of her granola bar with him.
We were told that Leo was never wet. His sweater was never matted. I would never question a woman who makes a statement like that. Would you? If Leo had been wet at any time he would have froze. The raft was deliberately placed upside down. Oars and pumps neatly placed beside it.
That was a bittersweet mission for these earth angels. While they weren't able to find Randy, the trio was able to rescue Leo. We will always be thankful that they were able to spot Leo during their final moments of this search flight.
I salute you, SAR Volunteers
- Lost hikers keep New Mexico search crews busy | KRQE News 13
Albuquerque’s source for local news and live streaming video online. KRQE reports on news, weather, traffic, investigations and sports for New Mexico.
February 16 - One month ago the New Mexico Search and Rescue team put boots on the ground in search of Randy. They searched the perimeters they were given by the police. Then they searched a bit more. Nothing. There weren't any footprints near the raft.
The question in many minds is...Where did Randy go?
Randy checked out of the Motel 6 on January 3rd
He purchased the raft on January 4th
Vehicle was seen at parked location on January 5th
Vehicle was seen again, unmoved and reported to police on January 12th
Raft, Leo and the oars were discovered on January 15th
There is no evidence that anyone had spent the night at the raft location
Human and small canine footprints were located going into and out of Frijoles Canyon on the west side on January 19th. High probability tracks belong to Randy and Leo.
Raft was purposely placed in the location and did not blow there.
Both of the above clues tell us that Randy did not have a problem upriver. Whatever happened to Randy happened to him after he secured Leo and the raft. If he, himself actually did secure Leo and raft. Leave no stone unturned.
81 SAR volunteer searchers, 682 hours of searching and no sign of Randy.
If only this was a case of Where's Waldo and we could just point him out on a page, but alas it's not. Randy's disappearance is a mystery that many continue to try and solve.
Fact: If one of my daughters or granddaughters were missing and assumed in the water, there would not be an ounce of water left in the Rio Grande until my chickie was found. No ifs, ands or buts. Dams would be turned off. I would of course apologize to the residents of Santa Fe for temporarily cutting off their water supply, but I will make sure they had plenty of drinking water beforehand. I'm just saying...be thankful it is my ex-husband who is missing and not one of my girls.
Quote of the Day: "Chase your dreams but always know the road that will lead you home again." - Tim McGraw
February 17 - The drone videos from Sunday have been released. While the footage by our drone pilot, Houston was amazing, there was no sign of Randy. How frustrating. But the video tour of the Rio Grande and surrounding canyons were breathtaking.
I did reach out to a search and rescue volunteer group that use dogs to search the water. While this won't be an easy task, if all parties agree to the mission, it's worth a try.
Today we had a few searchers with boots on the ground. These searchers who live in Santa Fe reached out to the family because they care. Because they want to find Randy. Because they want closure for the family. These searchers are remarkable on their quest to leave no stone unturned.
I receive many requests from total strangers on what they could do from afar to help find Randy. I do delegate jobs to some. To others my request is for positive thoughts for the safety of our dedicated searchers and for the aching hearts of those who care so much. Thank you!
Quote of the Day: "By the time this mission is complete, the drone footage just might document every piece of debris in the area."
February 18 - I have been reaching out to media outlets and they have not been very helpful. You think they would be, since there is supposedly a person who drowned in the river that supplies the drinking water to the city of Santa Fe. Just a random thought that passed through my head...I have many thoughts, I just don't share them all. But, in this case, maybe the media outlets will help me spread the word about Randy!
I continue to be overwhelmed with the outpouring of empathy from caring people around the country. They tell me how badly they want resolution for the family. They want Randy to be found. We all want one thing...to find out what happened to Randy. My heart aches for my daughters, granddaughters, Kathy and Chad. I want so badly to bring them the answer they so desperately deserve.
I continue to learn so much about Santa Fe, NM. I continue to be appreciative of Orlando, Fl. But, the people of Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Taos, Los Alamos and surrounding areas give me the confidence that we will find Randy. One day.
We have a very busy weekend coming up. Hikers. Drones. Travels. And a bittersweet celebration. I will update as each mission is complete.
Just in case you are not in my Facebook group and you are searching for Randy, I posted this message in the group and I will post it here also:
Many of you are searching and the family appreciates your help in searching for Randy. Many of you are also confused as to what to do if you find something suspicious or possibly find Randy. Out of respect for Randy's daughters, sister, nephew, family and friends I ask that you do NOT post that picture in this group. I ask that you email me the pictures or send it via Facebook Messenger. I have the contact numbers and will advise you how to proceed next. Thank you for searching and respecting the family's wishes. email@example.com
Quote of the Day: "I wish I could do so much more for those who are doing so much for us."
February 20 - Yes, I did skip a date, you are not hallucinating if you are reading this blog in chronological order. I have been extremely busy the past few days and while I have been keeping notes, there is only so much that I can share with my updates.
I am pleased to say that the triple drone mission we had yesterday was a success. A success in that the pilots and their spotters are safe. There were no injuries and tons of video was collected. We now patiently wait for the footage to be uploaded and shared for the many eagle eyes to investigate. We also had a few hikers out searching on Friday and Saturday. As of now we didn't find Randy, but we hope the drone footage gives us some clues.
Today is 14 years since my mother passed away and not a day goes by that my heart does not ache for her. I subconsciously spent some time today with my mother, Randy and my late husband Dave...wishing that one of them will help to direct us in the path we need to be looking. Wishful thinking...
I heard back from Sandia Search and Rescue, they will not be supplying us canines to help search the water at this time, due to weather conditions. Oh well, never say never.
Happy 55th Birthday to Randy...
February 21 - Today is a special day, it's Randy's birthday. I had truly hoped he would have been found by now, for the sake of our daughters, granddaughters and Randy's sister...but that's a negative.
Randy's family has a very important and bittersweet mission today, I will update soon. In the meanwhile positive thoughts are appreciated.
We are so thankful for the people of New Mexico who have reached out to us in our time of need. Never could I have ever possibly imagined the past 5 weeks occurring and all that has transpired in this short time, my brain continues to be baffled.
Fact: SFPD might have given up on Randy after 2 days, but NMSAR and the people of SF, LA, ABQ etc...haven't. Forrest Fenn gave up on Randy after two helicopter searches, but Team Randy does not give up.
February 22 - First of all I want to thank you all for caring and continuing to follow this mission. Caring about Randy. Caring about his family. Caring about us having resolution for this missing persons case. I, along with you, want just one thing...to find out what happened to Randy. To find Randy.
When this mission began we only had so many clues to go on. I reached out to many friends and family members to have as many resources possible to help in the search. We did have a few missing pieces at the start, but we went forth with the information we did have. Yet, I continued to keep in contact with as many friends of Randy's that I could and usually got more answers. Everyone wants to help. Everyone wants to supply those missing pieces.
Unfortunately we didn't have all the facts correct in the beginning. This weekend our daughters did a search of Randy's apartment. On their father's 55th birthday, together with Randy's sister and nephew they cleaned out all his belongings. I am so extremely proud of their strength and how they stood tall while carrying a huge burden on their shoulders.
There were a few facts that we "assumed." First off is the backpack. We thought he was using his brand new backpack, the blue one with the yellow stripes. Well he wasn't. He most likely had his blue backpack that was in the selfie photo. Basically the same color blue, but no yellow stripes.
Next up is the waders photo. It wasn't recent. That photo was taken in December of 2014.
There were no waders, wetsuit, whistle or GPS found in the car or apartment. There was an empty box for the GPS and for brand new hiking boots, which were the boots he left in the car. There was an old pair of hiking boots found in his other car that was at his apartment. Not sure how many hiking boots he owned, but knowing his frugal nature, not many. Randy was the type of person to purchase something and not replace it unless absolutely necessary.
I also spoke with Randy's ex-roommate. He confirmed what we already knew that Leo was terrified of the water. There was one hunt that they went on when Leo would not wade across the river, so Randy had to gently toss him across. Leo got so upset that he went back to the car and waited until Randy completed his search. I thought this story was funny as I imagined it in my head. Anyway, this story would help to explain why if Randy did place the raft and Leo on the east side and go back into the river, Leo was not going to follow him and there was no chance in hell that Randy was going to toss him across the Rio Grande!
Another story was from back in March of 2015 when Randy was in Santa Fe for a hunt and had missed the sunset. He decided to spend the night in a concrete drain pipe. Once again, Leo was upset because he had spent the night standing guard and barking at the critters who decided to make an appearance. Those two were quite a daring duo.
And unfortunately it seems that Randy had drank the kool-aid. Enough said for now.
February 25 - I am touching base to let you know that we continue to search for Randy. This blog may be quiet at times, but that in no way means that we have given up, we continue to be hard at work behind the scenes coordinating search missions and collecting relevant data in hopes of finding Randy.
We learned more about Randy and his treasure hunting adventures from evidence that was found in his apartment. One thing we all learned is that hunting for a treasure chest takes some serious dedication. But are the hunters really searching for a "chest" or for inner peace? I don't know, but after all the knowledge I acquired in past 6 weeks, I would think it was leaning more on inner peace. But, this blog isn't a sermon, it's about finding Randy. Before I get attacked, once again, for voicing my opinion...I am not judging anyone's decision to search for hidden treasure! Go forth and prosper.
Leo and Randy had a unique relationship. I watched some videos from their 2014 adventures and while it was a bit random at times, it was also quite funny to watch them in action. At times I thought Leo was the brains behind the hunt. But, in reality that wouldn't be possible...or would it? Randy and Leo often separated in the videos and at the end of the hunt, always found each other. Randy often told Leo to sit and stay and Leo obeyed...at times.
Today we had a first! The first ever coffee meetup in Santa Fe for those who are dedicated to finding Randy. 9 out of our team of 15 searchers met and shared stories while sipping coffee from Java Joe's. I could never have imagined that 6 weeks ago to this day that I would be arranging a coffee meetup for people I have never known, but we have been brought together by a missing treasure hunter. Most days it seems surreal that we are even still searching for Randy. If he only knew...
I'm in the process of arranging search teams for this weekend. I am so thankful for each and every kind hearted soul that has crossed my path.
Quote of the Day: "I put my heart and my soul into my work, and I have lost my mind in the process." - Vincent Van Gogh
February 26 - Today begins the 7th week of searching for Randy. Mind you, it feels like 7 months. So much has happened during this time which baffles my brain, but we still do not have a clue where Randy is. None of his belongings have been found. Just his raft, oars, foot pump, car and Leo. Where the heck is he?
The family continues to work together and the teamwork we exhibit is flawless. We each have tasks that we are responsible for and when requested we act on the task and get the job done.
NM SAR continues to have our backs. New Mexico Search and Rescue are daily reminders that there is hope that Randy will be found, we just need to be patient. We are so appreciative of this amazing team of volunteers who assist others on their personal time.
The team of searchers that I have formed continues to offer support and knowledge of the area. As I remind them that, I am Clueless in Orlando, that drives them to want to teach me even more. Oh, the things I have learned. I have learned about people, places and things that I never had a need to know before, but I now have this information in my brain's database. I arise with a hangover and I do not drink! But, I have been considering to start!
Quote of the Day - "No matter how busy a person is, if they really care, they will find the time for you."
HEADS UP: I am looking for a woman named, Rianna from La Madera, NM or surrounding areas. She had searched with Randy in 2014 and I would just like to speak with her.
February 27 - We are blessed with our dedicated team of searchers. We have map gurus, drone pilots, off road drivers, NM search and rescue volunteers, location experts, firefighters and residents of the White Rock community...just to name a few. All these magnificent people found me and all they want is to help the family find closure. The family is blessed.
Today we had hikers and drone pilots out searching for Randy. They hiked up and down steep rugged canyons, these guys are fiftysomething and fabulous. It's not looking good for finding Randy during this search, but the drone footage might tell us otherwise. We will know in a few days.
Quote of the Day - "More eyes in the field, is better than no eyes in the field." Which leads me to...if you are in the area and would like to lend your eyes to search, please email me. Thank you!
February 29 - Leap Day. Could today be the day that Randy is found? What better way to put an end to the search and speculations but by ending his mysterious disappearance on a unique day that only happens every four years.
The drone footage from Saturday was reviewed. While the footage continues to leave me in awe of the beauty and expanse of the Rio Grande, nothing of interest was noted. Bummer.
The drone crew is to be commended for their dedication. One of my searchers spent a few hours in the ER and received 5 stitches on his hand and his response to me is my QOTD...
Quote of the Day: "The scar will symbolize a time in my life that was significant. Searching for Randy." Bless his heart.
Thankfully all my searchers go out prepared to deal with situations like this should they arise. Which leads me to one more QOTD...
Bonus Quote of the Day: "Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For, indeed, that's all who ever have."
March 1 - A new month. Still no sign of Randy, but each and every day, my team of searchers continue to work together to find him. Whether with boots on the ground, analyzing data that we have collected, mapping out coordinates or researching photos and videos taken while searching. My team of 15 is hard at work. We will find Randy. We continue to leave no log unturned.
Today is our granddaughter's 3rd birthday. Lily asked about her pop-pop and her gramps. So incredibly sad for such a young naive child to have to experience so much loss in less than 8 months. Then for my daughters to lose a father and stepfather in such a short period of time.
We finally heard from the DA. Nothing beneficial to note, but a Victim's Advocate did finally reach out.
My contact with the associated press also reached out, this weekend will hopefully bring Randy back to the forefront of curious or not so curious minds.
Yet, the New Mexico newspapers that I reached out to have lost interest in our story. I have reached out many times, it's come down to the point where they don't even respond. Really? HELLO...you possibly have a BODY in your RIVER, show a bit of compassion. I say this specifically to the Santa Fe New Mexican, they were all over the story in the beginning, but possibly they too are allies of FF.
Quote of the Day: "Never assume a person is going to do what you are going to do."
March 3 - I wish I had some good news to share with you, but I do not. We have not yet found Randy, but we continue to search.
I finally took time to watch the show, Expedition Unknown, which had aired a special on November 15th about FF's hidden chest. I had hoped to possibly gain some knowledge or maybe a few clues from the episode, but alas all I achieved was laughter. Joshua Gates has gained a new fan who admires his charm, wit and sarcasm. In a segment of the show Josh asks FF to tell him where the treasure is...FF said only one person could know, so if I told you I would have to shoot you. SAY WHAT?!? At that point I breathed a sigh of relief that FF did NOT tell me where the treasure was when I had asked him that question and suggested that the location could be our only hope in finding Randy! It's all good FF, you could keep that "secret" to yourself. We will find Randy regardless. It won't take us 100 years as stated by FF to a family member. We will find him sooner than he might think.
I often receive messages from those of you who are reading this blog regularly. I appreciate the feedback, the positive thoughts, suggestions and quotes. So please...don't hold back...keep your thoughts coming. We got this!
Good news! My caring and supportive contact with associated press has come through once again...she will be going to print with a brief on Saturday. Randy's missing persons case will once again be in the media. Amen!
Quote of the Day: "The number one reason people give up so fast is because they tend to look at how far they still have to go, instead of how far they have gotten."
Searching For Randy Bilyeu
March 5 - Two months ago, Randy pushed off on the raft in the Rio Grande. We continue to hunt for the treasure hunter.
We have searchers going out this weekend. A drone pilot. Some searchers with four legs, not just two. We had hikers who searched during the week. We will have more hikers this weekend.
I appreciate the many members of my search team who are as dedicated, resilient and persistent as I am.
Positive thoughts are once again appreciated for Team Randy as they put their boots and paws on the ground.
Quote of the Day: "In life, you'll realize there is a purpose for everybody you meet. Some are there to test you, some will use you, some will teach you and some will bring out the best in you."
March 7 - Another week begins. Another extremely busy weekend is behind us. An emotional roller coaster of sorts for some. Randy wasn't found, but our hopes remain optimistic. Our team of volunteer searchers remain determined to find him.
On Saturday we had hikers and a drone pilot, Dave the Drone Guy. The drone footage continues to roll in. The videos reveal how massive the area is, also how extraordinary breathtaking it is. A National Guard helicopter made an appearance along the Rio Grande on Saturday, not searching for Randy, but we saw via a snippet cell video how tiny the helicopter looked amongst the canyon walls. Mind-blown!
NMSP had a treasure hunter who called in a rescue because he felt ill, while he was searching for the treasure chest, in the vicinity where Team Randy was searching. Really people? We are searching for a missing treasure hunter and the hunters are causing complications trying to search for the treasure. How about y'all wait until our mission is complete before you begin to endanger your lives. Consider this a friendly reminder, treasure hunting should come with the warning: "Proceed with Caution, your life could be at stake!" Maybe FF will add that warning to his revamped guidelines.
Team Randy also had 4 canine search dogs and about 16 searchers this weekend. They picked up some possible clues, but nothing conclusive. SAR was able to map out a search plan for next weekend.
For the record: There has been a rumor floating around and I heard it once again this weekend, that NM Search and Rescue (SAR) gave up on the search for Randy after 2 days. This is UNTRUE. Two months later and NMSAR is still on the case, unofficially and officially. So, kindly put a halt to that rumor.
On the other hand, Fenn who had promised Randy's daughters that he would never, ever give up...gave up after two helicopter searches with media present and accounted for. There has been no contact from the treasure hunters since the start of February, they also said they would never give up.
But, that is OK. Team Randy has got this.
Good news! The AP brief was released this weekend and Randy was once again in the media. Print, online and on news broadcasts. Amen!
Quote of the Day: "Well behaved women rarely make history." Eleanor Roosevelt
No Man Left Behind
March 10 - While it has been a few days since I last posted an update, that in no way means that we haven't been working hard to find Randy. As you are well aware there is only so much time in a day and at times even I need to rest my baffled brain.
I do appreciate the many emails that I receive from those of you that continue to keep Team Randy in your thoughts and prayers. Your thoughts help inspire me to keep on doing what I am doing. You motivate me to not give up. I am all for a gentle nudge every now and then. Heck, I don't even mind a pesty push since I do tend to get distracted due my short attention span.
On Tuesday the 8th we had Bob and Chuck searching for Randy. Today we have Josh and Andy with their BOTG. This weekend we hope to have drone pilots, depending on weather conditions. Windy season has begun in Santa Fe and drones can not be operated when the winds are wild.
If only...I was more pragmatic and less stubborn and thick-headed. But, alas I am who I am. I do not know how to stop until the mission I start is complete. No matter what the mission is. At this time, my mission is to find Randy. To bring resolution to my daughters, granddaughters and Randy's family and friends. There are hundreds of people who want to know what happened to Randy. Hence, the non-pragmatic person in me remains in full effect until Randy is found.
Good news! I just received a phone call from a member of the North Texas Drone Association and they want to send drone pilots to help us out! More info to follow...
Also, as a longtime fan of the Netflix show Longmire...filming for season 5 is set to begin in Santa Fe. Hmmm, I wonder if I could get Sheriff Walt Longmire and Vic to help with the search for Randy.
Update: Chuck, Bob, Josh and Andy did not find Randy, but each time boots are on the ground that gets us one step closer to closing in on where Randy might be. Searchers do get disheartened, but they also are enlightened too, because they are doing their part to search for Randy. Bless their caring hearts.
Quote of the Day: "You can't control what's not in your control." (I really need to make this my new mantra)
March 11 - Once again I must mention that I truly wish Randy was able to witness the outpouring of love, prayers and positive thoughts that have been expressed on his behalf each and every day. If only he knew how many people cared about finding him. If only he knew how much time and effort so many wonderful people place into helping the family. If only...
This weekend we have hikers, a searcher who will be using his boat to search the lake and drone pilots heading over to Santa Fe from Texas. The motivation and dedication in finding Randy is overwhelming and so extremely appreciated.
Today we had more canines from the Los Alamos Mountain Canine Corps searching. I salute their dedication to this mission. We also had our mountain men Bob and Chuck, scaling walls. I applaud their bravery! While no new clues were found, we did find out that a suspicious odor was probably a dead cow. OK.
I've been told many times that it's rare for an ex-wife to place so much energy into finding an ex-husband. That makes me sad to hear. Even though Randy and I are divorced, we always considered each other family. We have children and grandchildren together. We were both still in contact with each others extended families. We might have been divorced, but we never divorced our families. 32 years is a long time to know someone and not try your damn best to help find them.
Quote of the Day; "The thing about chaos, is that while it disturbs us, it too, forces our hearts to roar in a way we secretly find magnificent."
March 14 - Another weekend has come and gone and we haven't found Randy. But we appreciate the dedication of the hikers, canines, drone pilots and the river/lake search that was performed this past weekend. On Saturday, Liz and Evelyn had their boots on the ground in Bandelier.
Mountain Canine Corps had their paws on the ground in Bandeleir on Sunday, in search of possible routes that Randy could have taken, but missed. Also on Saturday, Joshua took a canoe trip across Cochiti Lake in search of the missing person that we all hope to find one day.
Unfortunately, on Sunday one of our drone pilots who drove from Texas to help in the search had to be airlifted on Sunday night due to exhaustion, but he is doing much better today. We so appreciate Lyle and Coley driving 9.5 hours to pilot their drones and help us search a suspicious area.
Drone footage will be a bit late this week. But we got this.
March 15 - It has now been two months since the first boots on the ground in the search for Randy.
I have been contacted via Twitter, email and Facebook asking if people are still searching for Randy. Of course we are! Every single day! Obviously those who are questioning whether searching is still in effect haven't read this blog yet. Not a day goes by that a member of search team is not focused on finding Randy. My team of 20 with boots on the ground and my Facebook group of 251 members are on top of this.
I have been asked if Forrest Fenn or the treasure hunters are still in contact with the family. That's a negative. We haven't heard from Forrest Fenn in over a month, a bit longer. Same as the treasure hunters. We do not need their help, but we are grateful for the wee bit of help in the beginning of the search.
I have been asked why, as a former wife, do I continue to search for Randy and have in fact formed a massive team of people to find Randy. That answer is simple...he is the father of my daughters and grandfather of my granddaughters. I would move heaven and earth for my Chickies.
I was also asked if I think Randy may still be alive. I said yes because in times of distress we should never lose hope. We should always have something to hold on to. Even just an inkling of hope is enough to keep us motivated. But then I am also realistic. Either way, no matter the outcome...no man should be left behind. Ever.
I was contacted yesterday from another magazine in Colorado who is interested in running a story on Randy, the missing man. Of course we are interested, part of my advocacy is to keep Randy in the minds of others. My team of searchers also deserves to be recognized for their dedication to the search. They may lay low, but they sure do pack a punch.
Quote of the Day: "Alone we do so little, together we can do so much."
March 18 - I may have been quiet on the blog, but I have been making noise in other places. Team Randy continues to make progress in our search. The drone footage from last weekend didn't work out in our favor, but we appreciate the effort that our Texan Drone Pilots made to help us out. They are Texan rock stars!
I've been hearing conflicting reports that my Facebook group is for Team Randy members only. Well, yes it is...Team Randy is anyone and everyone who wants to help search for Randy. All searchers report to me and I have delegated jobs to specific members who have expertise in certain areas. I am not sure what is so difficult to understand about this? Join the Facebook group, have your voice heard...we have ONE JOB to find Randy. I am doing the best I can to arrange searches and find Randy in Santa Fe, NM from Orlando, FL. That itself is one heck of a challenge. So, if you are helping to search for Randy and you are on Facebook, you are welcome to join Team Randy's group.
This weekend we have our drone pilot and his spotter searching for Randy. We also have hikers. We may have some canines, but no matter what...we got this!
Over the past two months I've witnessed Randy's and my daughters go from bewilderment to shock to living a nightmare to pinch me, I am dreaming to borderline acceptance. Our daughters are quiet and prefer to live private lives. Never have they imagined that their father would go missing and they would be the center of attention, yet they were and they have handled this dire situation like the adults they are. They did say a few times, "there are how many treasure hunters" and it's our father that has gone missing?! Shocking, indeed. I have reminded them that there very well could be other treasure hunters who have gone missing, but their families might not have made as much noise as Randy's family has done. I am extremely proud of my daughters and I am sure Randy would be too.
Quote of the Day: "If you have a goal, be relentless in your pursuit."
March 22 - Team Randy's spectacular drone crew captured some amazing footage this weekend. Extra eyes are always welcome to check out the videos and maybe help spot something out of the ordinary. Click here to view the ten videos. Feel free to email me a photo of interest. Also include the video number and the time the image was captured. Thank you for your help!
I had a nice chat with Chanon from Texas this past weekend. She was searching for FF's treasure in 2013...in the same area where Randy vanished. The Rio Grande. Luckily for Chanon she was only stranded for about 24 hours before NM SAR and Sandia Search Dogs found her walking up the trail, back to her car. She learned a lesson from that ordeal and I picked up a few tips from her. Unfortunately she couldn't advise as to what Randy's plans were, but it never hurts to ask! Chanon is a good person and I wish her well...I also hope she is done searching and found what she was looking for.
It's been bewildering these past couple of months with all that I have learned and continue to learn from people that I never would have expected to be in contact with. I appreciate each and every person who has reached out and offered their expertise, opinions and advice.
If only...Randy know how much so many people were rooting for him. Perhaps he does know. Maybe he is reading this update. Hmmm...if so, he better speak up ASAP!
Quote of the Day: Tough times don't last, tough people do.
March 26 - It's been ten weeks since we began searching for Randy. Have we given up hope? Nope. Have we given up searching? Nope. Do we still believe we will find him? Yep. Do we wish Randy left behind some clues? Yep.
If only he had left us one or two clues as to what his plans were. If only he had told one person exactly how he planned to exit the canyon. If only he had shared how his mind was manipulated to believe that the treasure chest was where he was searching.
So many questions left unanswered. So many people who are trying to piece the puzzle together and find out where the heck he is. Yet, these same people refuse to throw in the towel Why? Because they want his family to have those answers. They want his family to have resolution. They want Randy to be found.
If it wasn't for my team of searchers I would be dazed and confused. They are earth angels that I wish every family of a missing person had the honor of being blessed with. They have proven to us time and time again that there is so much good in this world.
With this being a holiday weekend, we didn't have any boots on the ground. We took the time to refocus and regroup. There was a meeting of the minds this past week. The searchers gathered together for a discussion of how to proceed next. A new plan was revised. A new search has been discussed. I reached out to a friend in Texas who is a radio host. I placed an order for more drone pilots who could assist our amazing drone pilots for our next plan of action.
This past week a jacket was discovered near the river, south of the raft area. We had hoped that it might be a clue for Randy, but after much research we have come to the conclusion that the jacket didn't belong to Randy.
While searching for Randy I have been in touch with a sister of another missing man. His name is Steve Olshansky, aka Otter.
Miranda, could use some boots on the ground to assist in searching the service roads in Carson National Forest. The Continental Divide Trail. If you are a hiker in North - Central New Mexico and have extra time to help search please reach out to Miranda. She just wants to find her brother, just like we want to find Randy.
Today we had Joshua who rowed his canoe along the river and lake in search of Randy. He didn't find Randy, but he sure gave it his best shot. We are thankful for Joshua's dedication.
Quote of the Day: "Sometimes when one person is missing, the whole world seems depopulated."
March 30 - In the past few days we have discovered that Randy had quite a fixation on New Mexico, most of all the Santa Fe area. He was in Santa Fe in September, November, December and January for his final trip. He was also in Las Vegas, New Mexico not Nevada in October. He would visit for a few days, explore the area, we know which areas he visited via investigative work but what we don't know yet is what his attraction was to the area...besides looking for the treasure chest. What we continue to learn while searching for Randy is that he was determined and driven and his mind was manipulated to believe that he was searching in the correct area.
In all the years I have known Randy he would not have done what he did unless he had a damn good reason. If only "someone" would come forward with the information we need to possibly help guide the authorities to where Randy could have gone once he parked his raft and dog on the east side of the canyon. As we all know by now he did not spontaneously combust, people do not do that, but then again, he was in New Mexico and we are familiar with Roswell.
I spoke with a medicine man in New Mexico that Randy had contact with 2 years ago. He told me that Randy attended services during Holy Week exactly 2 years ago, but didn't hear from him again until he heard that he was missing while treasure hunting, he is praying for his well being. During that time is when Randy met Rianna, but the medicine man isn't familiar with Rianna. So, Rianna if you are reading this...I continue to await for you to contact me. Yes, I know, I'm stretching the search with this contact, but I am a firm believer in it never hurts to ask!
Also, there are other issues that make the mystery widen.
Quote of the Day: "The ultimate mystery is one own's self."
April 3 - Per suggestions from our Facebook group we took the psychic route. It didn't work out well. Find Me suggested areas that have already been searched multiple times. They also suggested the river. Snagged on debris. Washed up on the shore. Really? So did just about everyone else. What they did not suggest was possibly Randy crossed the river and went to the west bank to hike out. While that area was searched too and could be a possibility and if Randy is found there Find Me just lost all credibility. While asking for their assistance could have been helpful and we do appreciate their time and effort we are right back from where we were yesterday...we ain't got shit, which has become our motto lately.
On the flip side...Preparations for Fennboree is underway in Santa Fe. Hmmm...should I attend or shouldn't I? That is the question. $100 for a map that could possibly lead to the treasure. Hmmm...should I buy it or shouldn't I? Gotcha! Did you really think I would consider either of these two options? But if you happen to look closely at the map you will notice that Bandelier is on the map. Northwest of Santa Fe, where Randy was searching.
Quote of the Day: "Every time you are able to find some humor in a difficult situation, you win!"
April 4th - We are still searching for Randy. We are working on different angles to help improve our chances in finding him. It would be nice if he would somehow send us a clue or better yet his location...wishful thinking.
In the meanwhile I have reached out to all my media contacts that I have been in touch with during the past three months...Randy's story will once again be in the news. Soon.
My hardworking team of volunteer searchers is still actively involved in looking for Randy and bringing resolution to the family. Also resolution to all those who care so much. We will find Randy, might not be today, but we will find him. Never give up hope!
The last time we saw Randy was in June when he came to Orlando for our daughter's 30th birthday. We had a nice visit and great birthday party. Randy spent time with the family and also with my husband Dave, because we all knew it would be the last time he would see Dave, they have been friends for over 18 years. Dave passed away in July. What we didn't know at that time was that it would also be the last time we saw Randy too.
Quote of the Day: "I won't give up if you don't give up, I'm calling all angels."
April 7th - This is one of the many times that I have begun to do an update and instead I stare at my screen for minutes and realize...I have nothing new to share. And unfortunately I don't. While I wish I did.
It's been 3 months since Randy pushed off on his raft down the Rio Grande. Where he ended up no one seems to know. Well, supposedly no one. I continue to believe that one person could possibly know, yet he disagrees with me.
Randy's family continues to remain confused as to how he hasn't been found yet. They miss him tremendously and wish they had answers as to where he could possibly be. Not knowing is the most difficult part. Having resolution is what they need. We all understand that the area is tremendous and to find him is quite a task. Realistically we are thankful for all the searching that has been done and continues to be done, but never imagined that we would all still be wondering where he was after 3 months. Everyone continues to remain hopeful.
We are in the need of canines and boats. No, we don't expect the canines to row the boats. Trained canines are beneficial for ground searches. Rivercrafts are beneficial to search the water. Yet, Spring continues to flourish in New Mexico and the winds can be brutal which continues to hinder the scent cone for the canines. But, we haven't given up!
Quote of the Day: "Give 'em enough rope and eventually they'll hang themselves."
Jeff Schultz - Sadly fell to his death while searching for Forrest Fenn's "treasure chest" on April 11, 2016
- Jeff Schultz - ForeverMissed Memorial Websites
This online memorial is dedicated to Jeff Schultz. It is a place to celebrate his life with photos, stories, music and more.
April 11th - It's been almost 3 months since the search for Randy began. I never imagined we would still be searching, I assumed we would have found him by now, but nope, never assume. We haven't found a clue. But we continue to try. My searchers have taken the time to regroup, spend time with their families and to take care of themselves. A well deserved break.
For the past 2 weeks I've been working on a plan. About this time next week I'll be able to share more, but not yet. I won't have time to update this blog for the next week or so, but keep in mind that I am still very active in the search as are my searchers.
We haven't given up, never will, just leaving no stone unturned. Until then your continued positive thoughts are appreciated.
Sadly today a treasure hunter died. He fell to his death while searching for the Fenn treasure. Jeff was only 36 years old and had only been engaged a short time. His parents were notified of his demise with a 3am knock on the door from the authorities. No one should ever have to bury their child. Jeff had previously said he was done searching since the last time he went on a hunt the area was treacherous. But when another clue was released on April 9th (not on a trail, not in a dangerous area), Jeff packed up and went hunting. He died on Monday after falling 100 feet from a silo. (As told by his family.)
How many other hunters have gone missing or have perished while searching for this treasure? How many hunters have we not heard about? How many hunters will remain a mystery? Most importantly so many are questioning if the treasure even exists. So, could innocent people be losing their lives searching for something that isn't even there? Yes, there is a probability that could be true. If you have a factual story to share with me, I hope you would contact me.
Quote of the Day: "We got this!"
Hello from Leo!
Santa Fe New Mexican
- Family of missing treasure seeker hunts for answers - Local News - Santa Fe New Mexican
Linda Bilyeu and her daughter, Michelle Stoker, still maintain a bit of hope that Randy Bilyeu, who disappeared while looking for Forrest Fenn's cache, is alive.
April 20th - Team Randy has been very busy. My daughter, Michelle and I went to New Mexico on Thursday and we returned on Tuesday. While we were there we successfully completed the itinerary I had prepared. We met with our amazing searchers who have searched for Randy for the past 3 months. They are truly the real deal. I already miss our NM family, but will see them all again soon. We also met with NMSAR, SFPD and journalists.
We distributed missing person flyers throughout our travels. We spoke with each and every person we met about Randy whether we were in Santa Fe, White Rock, Buffalo Thunder, Los Alamos or Albuquerque. Actually even at the airport and in the airplanes! Leave no stone unturned.
Our guides which included Bob Rodgers, resource officer for NMSAR and Alex Viech, one of our searchers, took us to the Rio Grande via White Rock Overlook, we hiked near Bandelier, saw Frijoles Canyon, witnessed the terrain that our searchers deal with in order to accomplish their missions. We were able to get a visual of the terrain and the vastness of the area which was quite overwhelming. From the overlook we were able to see from a distance where Randy parked his car and then rafted down the Rio Grande. This confirmed to me that his mind was manipulated to believe that he was in the vicinity of the treasure. He was obviously one determined man. Fenn had said that the treasure is where an 80 year old man could hide it, then again Fenn has twisted many of his clues around over and over again. Why Randy thought the treasure was where he was searching we might never know, but I am determined to find out. I am also determined to find out if this treasure even exists in a chest form. There might be some sort of a treasure, but I do not think it's what everyone is led to believe.
We met members of SAR who had their boots on the ground for Randy during the initial search. I obtained additional contacts for future searches. We also visited with Leo, the dog who is doing very well.
We only encountered one glitch during our trip. Our flight was cancelled on Monday due to flooding in Houston where we had our layover. Over 500 flights were cancelled, many passengers were inconvenienced, but we made the best out of our day. While in ABQ we went to the zoo and the animals entertained us. We also stopped for coffee at a hipster cafe in downtown ABQ which was quite interesting. We also met Dave the Drone Guy at a micro brewery and we finally had the opportunity to see our first New Mexican sunset which was spectacular.
The people of New Mexico welcomed us with open arms and the state is breathtaking, I wish we were there for another reason other than to help search for Randy, but we weren't. The trip was a success. I had wondered if I would return from this trip and be able to do what others have done before me, stop searching, but alas that is not who I am. I am not able to just throw in the towel and wait for Randy to appear. Unfortunately I am too stubborn and determined to do that. I must remain on this mission until my goal is accomplished.
It was disheartening leaving Randy behind in New Mexico, but we won't give up and we will be back. The search for Randy continues...
Quote of the Day: "I am too positive to be doubtful, too optimistic to be fearful, and too determined to be defeated."
April 22 - Searchers have their boots on the ground this weekend, but the rules have changed a bit. The ground area Randy could be has basically been searched. We could create more theories about where he may be, but there comes a time when you have to throw search theories out the door and think realistically. The rest doesn't matter, what matters is that Randy is found, whether it takes 3 months or 3 years...he will be found, we won't give up.
At this time we are focusing on the water, the sandbanks and assuming he may be caught up in something or just basically floating. Actually he could also be reading this blog and laughing at our assumptions. We just do not know.
Three months ago the probability that Randy has somehow slipped in the water was high because it made the most sense as to why Leo was at the raft waiting for his daddy to come back. Heck the water was so cold if he attempted to walk in it he could have had a coronary...this has happened to young adults, so chances are it could have happened to Randy. We simply do not know.
At this time the water is warmer. When the water warms up the body will be released. He could be in the river or floated to the lake. Searchers are being told to look for a black mass, black because of the waders he supposedly was wearing. Also look for vultures.
Randy will be found by the person who is at the right place at the right time.
I apologize if I was too graphic, but this is where we are now, I had hoped we wouldn't come down to this, but all signs are pointing to the water, yet I still have hope he is alive and laughing at our assumptions. In that case...he is in big trouble.
Quote of the Day: "If I ever go missing, I would like my photo on wine bottles instead of milk cartons, this way my friends will know to look for me."
April 24th - Today I received photos anonymously via email. The photos are of a backpack that is similar to Randy's. The person who emailed me with the location of the backpack seemed confident the pack belonged to Randy. I'm a bit suspicious that this occurred shortly after I updated the missing person's flyer with the color of the pack, but it's a potential clue and we will treat it as such. It's actually the first clue we have since the raft was found.
The terrain is treacherous, dangerous and possibly fatal. I do NOT advise anyone to search the area or try to retrieve the pack. The proper authorities have been notified and are on the job.
Update as 5pm.- Just received a call from the Chief Law Enforcement Ranger at Bandelier. The backpack HAS BEEN RETRIEVED via NPS. It's under investigation. Do NOT hike to that area, which is a crime scene. The area is closed off and trespassers will be fined and possibly arrested.The area is also very dangerous.
Could this be a hoax? Sure. Hoaxes are unfortunately common during missing person cases. Could this be Randy's backpack? Possibly, but before I speculate and toss theories around I will say that I think we should patiently or impatiently (my choice) wait for authorities to do their job. The SFPD, Bandelier Rangers, National Park Service and NMSAR are all on the case.
April 26th - We have yet to receive word yet on whether or not the backpack belongs to Randy. We impatiently await word from authorities.
I did receive another email from "anonymous" with additional photos of the backpack in the lower Frijoles area. Supposedly there were 5 people who saw the backpack there, which means that 5 people were trespassing on federal property, which makes remaining anonymous understandable. Yet, if that is Randy's backpack, where is Randy? We do not know.
Authorities convened today to examine the contents of the backpack and the investigation continues. A combined announcement will be made upon the completion of the investigation which is being conducted by the National Park Service, New Mexico Search and Rescue and the Santa Fe PD.
Quote of the Day: "Hardest target to find is one that's moving."
- Authorities in New Mexico resume search for missing treasure hunter | Fox News
Authorities on Wednesday resumed the search for a Colorado man who disappeared more than three months ago while hunting for a $2 million cache of gold, jewels and artifacts in a rugged part of New Mexico.
April 27th - The family has been notified about the backpack, please respect that we can't share any more details due to this being an ongoing investigation.
The search for Randy continues. Your positive thoughts and prayers are appreciated.
Quote of the Day: "The wheels of bureaucracy grind slowly."
April 30th - It has been quite a week with the search for Randy. So much is happening behind the scenes and in front of the scenes. For instance on one of the treasure hunter blogs, a not so very wise person decided to announce that he was the one who planted the backpack and by him saying that the search for Randy in the Bandelier area was suspended until further notice. The Feds need to determine if the pack was a hoax or not. Allow this to be a warning for y'all...be careful what you say on social media. While I am sure this is a hoax, the Feds aren't so sure.
I received a possible clue via email as to where Randy might be located. No where near the backpack. A few miles south of Bandelier. The clue was from a psychic. The area seems logical if Randy had drowned, the river gave him up and he began to float. It's actually an area that I thought was possible. So, I arranged for a search of that area which will be done next week due to snow in New Mexico. Yes, it's springtime in New Mexico but high elevations still have snow. I thought Florida's weather was dysfunctional during the winter - spring transition, but nope.
I continue to learn that you can not please everyone. As leader of the search for Randy, there is a good chance I will piss people off. While irritating these folks is not on my agenda, it sure seems like I am doing a stand up job. What these folks do not understand is that they do not need to know every single flipping detail of what goes on with the search...they need to trust me and trust that I know how to lead. I only share facts, not rubbish.
We all have one goal...to find Randy. Let's just get it done.
Quote of the Day: "No news is good news."
May 2nd - It was a busy weekend behind the scenes in the search for Randy. I had more people reaching out to help in one way or another with their level of expertise. Whether they are from Colorado, Texas or former residents of NM, we all have one thing in common...to find Randy.
The weather was cold in New Mexico this weekend and that caused havoc on our search plans. Snow, wind and rain...if only Mother Nature was a bit more considerate of our task at hand. But even Mother Nature has a job to do.
We have speculations and theories running rampant as to what Randy was thinking and where he could be. What was his exit plan? Was foul play involved? We just do not know.
The backpack that was found has been causing quite a stir and trust amongst those who care about finding Randy is becoming an issue. Yet, we cannot control what others think and people are going to assume whatever they want. Protocol and finding Randy is top priority.
One of our searchers did hike out and capture some photos above the area where the Remote Viewer suggested Randy was. While we didn't find Randy, Julie did capture some spectacular shots of the massive area where Randy supposedly is.
Quote of the Day: "Randy is going to continue to play hide and seek while we continue to guess where he is."
Update on Backpack
May 3rd - There is a strong theory, based on the contents, that the backpack belongs to Randy. National Park Service is conducting the investigation. The search area is closed off to everybody, except for the NPS, due to safety reasons.
There are still a few unanswered questions. Such as why would the backpack be on the west side while Leo and the raft were on the east side? Also, could Randy have possibly lost the backpack on a previous trip to the area and never mentioned it? I am going to go out on a limb here and assume...what we were told about the contents and the bag, we are assuming he lost the pack before his raft down the Rio. But you know what they say about assuming.
On a sad note. People of New Mexico (and elsewhere) are grieving today for an innocent 11 year old Navajo angel who was abducted and killed. Soar high, Ashlynne Mike.
Authorities apprehended the person who murdered this beautiful child. Amen.
Quote of the Day: "Mean people suck."
May 4th - May the fourth be with you. It seems the search for Randy has begun to take it's toll on many people that care too much. There was a minor implosion amongst our searchers. Accusations were tossed around. Disagreements were rampant. Trust was questioned. Scenarios were presented. Opinions were expressed. In other words, it was similar to a Sunday dinner amongst family members. While the implosion was heated at times, the fire was eventually extinguished and harmony resumed. At least I hope so. What I do know is that our searchers make one heck of an amazing team!
While egos might have been bruised and people might have been offended, the important factor is that our goal remains the same, to find Randy. Everything else is insignificant until we complete our mission. It's difficult at times for me to lead the team from across the country, but since New Mexico is where Randy is missing and Florida is where I live, I have no other option. If someone knows someone who owns a private plane and frequently travels between NM and FL, let them know I am ready, willing and able to hitch a ride!
Quote of the Day: "Sometimes, the best thing you could do is stop, breathe and focus on the positive."
May 5th - Our hero of the day goes to Joshua who embarked on a solo canoe journey in search of Randy. Kudos to his bravery and unselfish venture to help bring closure to the family.
Update: We didn't find Randy today, but we are thankful that Joshua is safely back on land.
It was 4 months ago today that Randy pushed off on the Rio Grande searching for Forrest Fenn's treasure. We continue to search for him.
The question I heard most often this week was..."Has the search at Bandelier National Monument been resumed?" My reply has been, "I have no idea!" You would think the search was resumed since the hoax of a treasure hunter saying that planted the pack was not the real deal, but rather a not so funny joke.
Yet, the family still has no idea if the search has been resumed. What I have heard is that the NPS prefers to work alone and doesn't require the assistance of other agencies such as the SFPD and NMSAR. Well, kudos to them for being so self sufficient, I guess, but there are those of us who need to know if the search has been resumed and if Randy was or wasn't found.
Yes, we should allow the agency to perform their duties since they are the professionals here, all we request is to be updated on the progress. It's senseless for my searchers to continue to search and jeopardize their lives if the NPS has found evidence such as a body.
It seems like the family is caught in the web of a power struggle between jurisdictions. We would kindly appreciate it if y'all played well together during this time of crisis, actually during any time of crisis.
We FINALLY received an update. NPS searched the area on Monday. Search is ongoing on an as needed basis. Will expand search area if needed.
Is communication too much to ask for? I think not.
Quote of the Day: "Your attitude, not your aptitude determines your altitude." Zig Ziglar
Associated Press article
- APNewsBreak: Search Resumes for Missing Treasure Hunter - ABC News
APNewsBreak: Search Resumes for Missing Treasure Hunter
May 6th - Randy's story has gone national thanks to Susan Montoya of the Associated Press.
I have been receiving messages all morning from friends in different states who have read or watched the news about Randy and our mission to find him. They all hope for one thing...closure for the family. And the family hopes for resolution soon.
May 7th - The questions, theories and scenarios continue to flood my email and while I appreciate hearing from each and every one of you, I need you to understand that due to lack of time I can't respond to each message. I ask that you assist me by thoroughly reading this blog before you reach out to me in order to save me the time of repeating myself over and over. So keep the messages coming...I do appreciate the help!
A most common question is why are we still considering to search the east side, which we have been doing, since the backpack was found on the west side. Isn't it obvious that Randy would be on the west side since there is no way he would leave his backpack behind. This is not true. There are a few scenarios as to how the backpack could be on the west side and Randy on the east side. Mostly because of the dog. Randy parked his raft and dog on the east side, the chances of him walking across the frigid river to recheck Frijoles Canyon where according to the footprints investigated by the Bandelier Rangers state that they were those of a human and small canine, tell us that Randy left that area and floated to the east side. Also, his pack could have been lost previously to the January trip, such as in December, when he took a fall due to dangerous terrain. The list goes on...basically we just do not know. Yet.
Meet the team that searches for Randy...
- Meet the Searchers of Team Randy Bilyeu
Randy Bilyeu has been a missing person in New Mexico since January 5th, 2016. This article introduces the team of dedicated searchers who hope to find him...
May 8th - The volunteer searchers are an integral part of finding Randy. Without their caring hearts and dedication to the team, chances of finding Randy are slim, yet still doable due to the other possibilities of Randy being found.
The Rio Grande area is about to become inundated with tourists and they could stumble upon Randy. While that would be unfortunate for the tourist and the jurisdiction in which he is found, at least the family would finally know where Randy is.
Today, Josh and Mike spent 10 hours searching for Randy on foot. They hiked on the caja, hiked down to the raft area, south and off trail. The raft is still there. They considered taking it out for a spin, but opted out, they took the Raft Trail back up. GPS coordinates coming up when they get a chance to send them. These guys are machines and we are so thankful.
I wrote a tribute article to the amazing searchers and this is your chance to get to know them a bit better. I was told often that this is the longest that they have been part of a search. I must be doing something right as Search Manager. These wonderful people give a bit of themselves each time they help search for Randy, whether with boots on the ground or virtually. Bless their hearts!
May 11th - I spoke with the folks at Bandelier. It seems like the area has been searched and Randy wasn't found. There are some areas that are too dangerous to search and they intend to bring in a helicopter and/or drone to search those areas.
I sure wish that "anonymous" would talk to me. While we are thankful that they supplied the photos of the backpack, instead of actually helping those photos just confused the search. We know the backpack wasn't there in January when the area was originally searched and according to photo analysis there is a medium probability the backpack wasn't there in March either. The backpack was not placed there. There is a high probability the backpack was tossed or dropped from above. We just need to know more details.
Regardless my team of searchers continue to search on the east side of the canyon. We cannot allow the diversion of the backpack to hold us back from reaching our goal to find Randy.
Quote of the Day: "Just keep moving forward and don't give a shit what anybody thinks. Do what you have to do, for you." Johnny Depp
May 16th - It's been a few days since I last posted, but during my absence I have been very busy collecting facts, trying to avoid fiction, accumulating data and researching where we are in Randy's missing person case and which direction to proceed. As a person who doesn't favor going backwards, but instead chooses to go forward, there are times when one must take a few steps backward just in case a clue was missed. Well, so far, we ain't found shit, but that does not discourage our team from giving up!
This past weekend we had Dave and Scott who had a successful drone mission. These two guys hiked for over 12 hours on Saturday leaving no log unturned. They took many photos along the way for our virtual searchers to scan for possible clues. They also encountered a few rattlesnakes and bullsnakes, but those slithering snakes didn't deter Dave and Scott from completing their mission to help find Randy. Kudos to them!
On a sad note, Stephan Olshansky, known as Otter, the Continental Divide Trail hiker who went missing in mid-November, was found dead by hikers on Saturday. My heart aches for his sister Miranda and his family, friends and fellow CDT hikers who have been so dedicated to finding their missing loved one. Otter was found at a campground in northern New Mexico, alongside him was a journal, a final gift to his family. While Stephen's finally now has resolution, their heartache continues on. Rest in peace, Otter...he was an inspiration to many.
Quote of the Day: "Those we love don't go away, they walk beside us everyday."
- Reader View: Fennboree and the lost treasure hunters - My View - Santa Fe New Mexican
Fennboree is an annual three-day event that occurs in Santa Fe to honor Forrest Fenn. Events are scheduled for treasure hunters to meet and greet. They share treasure-hunting memories along with some laughs. They share their theories and solutions of
May 17th - Fennboree, a yearly event that occurs once a year in Santa Fe to honor Forrest Fenn. Three days of events are scheduled for treasure hunters to meet and greet. They share treasure hunting memories along with some laughs. They share their theories and solves of the infamous poem.
What I wonder is will they be sharing memories of the missing treasure hunter who went in search of the treasure on January 5th and has yet to be found? Will Randy Bilyeu be mentioned at all? Will he be honored in some way? Or will he be heckled? Will Randy be respected by his peers? Or will his name be pushed aside? Surely Forrest Fenn didn't forget about Randy being missing and that his family and volunteer searchers are still looking for him 5 months later. I assume that Randy is not forgotten by the treasure hunters, after all, back in the day they told Randy's daughters that they would never give up.
During previous years the treasure hunters, who could afford to participate, never thought twice about going to celebrate Fennboree, but this year is different. I heard the head count isn't as high as it used to be. Not many treasure hunters are attending. Makes me wonder, how about you?
How does one attend Fennboree when one of their own is still missing in the same town that they will be celebrating? How does one celebrate a "treasure chest" that the missing person was searching for when he vanished? How does one have the heart to carry on as though Randy Bilyeu never existed...in the same town...where Fennboree will be celebrated. This my friends, baffles my brain.
Regardless that the choice was Randy's to push off on a raft down the Rio Grande in winter...my point is...he is STILL MISSING, presumed DEAD and Fennboree is still planned for June 3rd - 5th. Regardless that his mind was manipulated to believe the treasure was where he was searching or else he never would have taken the raft down the Rio Grande in the winter.
The thought that Fennboree is still a go, while Randy's remains continue to perish is repulsive and unacceptable.
Just a thought but since Fennboree will continue as planned, how about adding an event to the schedule to honor those brave men and women who hunt for the treasure chest and leave no log unturned? Such as those whose income is depleted due to travel, marriages became dissolved, families became distant due to their obsession, those who lost their dignity, but most importantly those that lost their lives. Godspeed, Fenners.
I would rather die of passion than of boredom— Van Gogh
May 23rd - Randy is still missing. I know, not the words you wanted to read, well those aren't the words I wanted to write. While he is still missing we continue to search. We continue to hope for clues. The backpack didn't work out too well in our favor. It continues to raise questions, but that is about it. Evidence shows that the backpack fell from above. That it wasn't placed. so many scenarios and theories, yet we still aren't sure how the backpack got to its final resting place. More mystery, more intrigue.
Foul play continues to be a possibility. Members of the facebook group wonder what the heck happened to Randy. Once he is found I hope we could rule out foul play, but until we have a body people will wonder. The family will wonder.
Supposedly under circumstances such as a missing person people find it hard to believe that one could die from natural causes and/or exposure to the elements. It's human nature to automatically assume foul play. Why? Because people prefer not want to take responsibility for their own actions. Those are not my words, but thoughts from an expert in the field. I could somehow understand that train of thought, but then again I believe that we should not leave any log unturned.
We had a hiker out this weekend in hopes of finding Randy. Not just any hiker, Michael the Machine. We appreciate his efforts.
A new week is upon us and with that I hope we make some progress and hopefully meet our goal of finding Randy.
Quote of the Day: "Giving up is not an option."
May 27th - It's common when a missing person hasn't been found that tensions begin to brew and accusations begin to take root. Well, that has been my week. Tension, accusations, scenarios and yet more theories. Why? Because we all want answers and we patience is wearing thin. Yet, it seems that instead of focusing on the goal at hand we begin to attack those closest to the case. Such was my week. It's been a bit of a ride, but we continue to move forward and do our best to find Randy. We got this, not matter how many roadblocks or obstacles we may encounter.
This weekend we have our superb drone pilot, DTDG and his trusty spotter, Scott going out in search of our missing person.
I have been trying to obtain the assistance of the Jon Francis Foundation. If only they would respond. Read the "About Jon" page to learn about David and Linda Francis, the angelic couple who established this foundation in honor of their son. Positive thoughts for them to contact me will be appreciated!
Quote of the Day: "You are only defeated if you accept defeat as an option."
June 2nd - it seems that the longer the search for Randy goes on the further apart my updates are posted on this blog. I kid you not when I tell you that each and every day we are searching for Randy. In one way or another we will find him.
Whether it is a possible clue in an email I receive. A new member joins my Facebook group and announces they have a potential clue. Or if one of the team members have their boots on the ground in search of Randy...we continue to be persistent, just not at same pace we worked at previously for multiple reasons. We have run out of places to search due to terrain and accessibility. Searchers need to rest. Holidays. I need a break. Etc...
Searchers come and searchers go, this is understandable...their lives are top priority. We appreciate all they have done for us while they participated in the mission, but if we must part ways, so be it. Some searchers have gone another route with their theories of what has happened to Randy, I respect their opinions, I don't have to agree with them, but I do hear them out.
One of the searchers said it best last night. He stated that Randy's missing person case was an enigma and the backpack threw a wrench into the mystery. And I totally agree. Speculations arises when faced with a perplexing situation, such as this. Oh, if we only had a clue, or could find a clue. If only "anonymous" could have been more help, but instead they threw the wrench and abandoned me.
David's drone footage from this weekend didn't find any new clues, but the footage was spectacular and the hard work was impressive. But we do appreciate Major Ed Dames sending me coordinates to Randy's possible location.
We had three dog teams at Bandelier yesterday. No clues were found. But we appreciate their efforts. This search does further reduce the probability that Randy is on the west side and we could place our minds back on track and continue searching the water and the east side.
Interesting fact that I learned this week. NMSAR has over 1500 volunteer searchers that devote their time and energy in finding missing people. Bless their hearts!
This weekend Fennboree will be in full swing with about 100 Fenners expected to attend. Hopefully some of the treasure hunters will help me out by searching for Randy. Or by possibly handing out missing person flyers. Either will be fine by me. Maybe not fine by NMSAR. Weird, supposedly Forrest claims there are 60,000 people searching for the chest...yet only about 100 of them are attending Fennboree. If my numbers are incorrect, feel free to correct me, but I did get these numbers from the higher up in FennLand.
Quote of the Day: "Come out, come out wherever you are."
June 4th - Storytime...Tuesday evening was ladies night, but my friend's husband who is visiting from Bolivia really wanted to join us, so we agreed. He shared with me his treasure hunting stories which I did NOT expect. His father was a governor in Bolivia, now retired. After graduating college dad wanted Jorge to search for treasure as a life lesson. And it was indeed a lesson. 2 days by car, 2 days by horseback and 2 days on foot to reach their search area. During their trek they passed by many caves where people lived. These people were also searching for the treasure. They lived in the caves for months, hungry, dirty but all had the desire to find the treasure.
Jorge was the leader of the search team, but as he told me, he had no idea how to lead, he learned along the way. Once a week he placed a call to the consulate to order supplies. It took that person 6 days to deliver the supplies. Car, horse and foot. Eventually Jorge and his team did find the treasure. They found many gold nuggets within the mountains.
Did they retrieve the gold? No. Because the cost of excavating outweighed the value of the gold. After a few months they packed up and left camp. On the way back they once again saw the cave dwellers. They asked Jorge if he found the gold...he said, "No." I was a bit shocked! Why did he say No? Because if he told them that he had found the gold they would have all died trying to retrieve it. They didn't have the funding to excavate the treasure that they so desired. Instead he left them with their burning desire to one day find the gold on their own.
Lesson I learned: Searching for anything, whether it be gold or a person is a desire that comes from within. Along the way you learn so much about yourself and about the people in your life. A search can strengthen or weaken you, but in the end you know that you are not the same person anymore, you are better than you were before. You set the bar high for those who come after you. You inspired many to not give up unless giving up was the only option. Then you simply step aside and allow them to take the lead while you treasure the pride and dignity that you possess and pass down to others.
Quote of the Day: "A wise person knows that there is something to be learned from everyone."
June 5th - 5 months ago today, Randy pushed off on his raft onto the Rio Grande.
Only clues found were his raft, dog, car and most recently his backpack...the search continues.
Recently I heard about a pair of work gloves that were discovered during the initial search in January by a treasure hunter. I tracked the gloves down and they will soon be in the right hands. Regardless that the person who bagged the gloves did or did not consider the gloves relevant to Randy...he should have turned the gloves into officials. Never, ever keep a potential clue. Geez!
Side sonar for the river has been discussed, but the water is too shallow for it to be of use. Side sonar for the lake is a possibility that we are working on. Hopefully at no cost. As I found out side sonar is very expensive.
In the works are airscent dogs for the river and lake. But of course nothing is easy. Flat bottomed boats are needed. Handlers need to be available. Weather needs to cooperate. Even then the cone of smell for an airscent could throw the canine into a tail spin. But this search technique is in the works.
Fennboree didn't work out well for Randy or the family. There were no searchers lending a hand in finding the missing treasure hunter.
I was contacted by two people who have claimed to have found the chest. Haven't recovered it, but know the location. I wish them well. They will keep me updated as their mission progresses. I admire the abundance of spunk these persistent people have. The location they sent me seems realistic, Randy also searched the surrounding area in 2014. But there is one exception it's ILLEGAL to dig there. Why doesn't that surprise me?
Quote of the Day: "We know Randy is somewhere, unlike the treasure."
Randy and Dedication...
June 11th - Randy continues to be missing. We continue to search for him or at least hope that he sends us a clue.
In the meanwhile, I will share a story about the missing person whom we all hope will be found soon.
Randy and I met when we worked for a dining service at a college on Long Island. Our job was catering to the New York Jets during their training sessions. It was at this time that I learned how much Randy was a sports fanatic. If there was a ball involved, he was playing with it. Whether he was playing sports, coaching a team or cheering one on, he did so with devotion. He chipped teeth, scraped and sprained extremities, was bruised and battered, but he kept going back for more. That is just who he was...he never gave up. Neither will we.
Randy was very competitive. He was in the game to win it. Yet he wasn't a sore loser. He had a drive and dedication to the game at hand. Whether he was playing softball, basketball, golf, hockey, tennis or racquetball he was determined to place as much effort as possible into a successful win. When our girls were young and participated in sports, Randy was the parent who was coaching on the sidelines. Oh my.
The year was 1992. Shaquille O'Neal was one of the top three NBA draft picks. For weeks leading up to the big event, Randy was excited that Shaq might be picked by the Orlando Magic who had the number one pick, so chances were good, but one never knows. The big night arrived...anticipating the announcement, Randy could not sit still, yet he managed to sit UNTIL the Orlando Magic announced their pick...Shaquille O'Neal. All I remember after that was Randy was no longer in the room and a few hours later he returned home with Season Tickets. The rest is history. Randy and Shaq had a love 'em and hate 'em relationship afterwards. In 1996 when Shaq left the Magic, Randy would cast voodoo spells on him...yet, he failed, Shaq prospered. Up until June of 2015, the last time I saw Randy he still wasn't over Shaq abandoning the Orlando Magic, well, actually abandoning Randy.
In a nutshell; Randy was a passionate person when it came to extracurricular activities. Whether the passion was basketball or hunting for the treasure, he instantly became a dedicated fan. He followed through with his passion by expressing his excitement and showing support. He was a prime example of a team player. Shaq and FF were lucky to have him on their teams.
June 14th - The world continues to mourn the many lives that were senselessly lost in the Orlando mass murder. I was personally affected by this tragic event and my heart aches for the families, for the young lives that were taken, for the survivors and all that they witnessed and also for the innocent victims who were injured. Orlando has been my home for the past 30 years and it saddens me to know that hatred caused so much chaos in such a short time. The day before the Pulse shooting, a beautiful young artist, Christina Grimmie, lost her life to a gunman who entered The Plaza venue in Orlando and shot her. Positive energy to all who were affected and according to my Facebook timeline...that would be the entire world.
We continue to search for Randy. This might not be with boots on the ground, but plans are underway. He will be found. No man left behind.
June 17th - The infamous gloves that were found on January 30th are FINALLY in the hands of the proper authorities, where they should have been five months ago, but due to searchers not being aware of the proper protocol, the gloves were bypassed. This is what happens when one is pushy and persistent. I can now exhale. The gloves are probably not Randy's, but leave no log unturned. The gloves will be analyzed. How long this process will take, I do not know...but I do know it will finally be done.
Quote of the Day: "You are braver than you think."
June 23rd - Just wanted to touch base and let you know that due to the scorching temperatures in New Mexico searching for Randy isn't an easy task. The weather is too warm for canines and for humans. If we had a had a clue, a tip of some sort we would act on it, but we can't send searchers out in these unbearable conditions just to randomly search areas that Randy might or might not be.
While my team of searchers do truly care about finding Randy we also must use our best judgement as to not endanger the lives of others. In the meanwhile we hope that somehow, someway, Randy sends us a clue of some sort.
Quote of the Day: "Teamwork guarantees that you are never alone in your quest to reach your goal."
June 29th - Hey Ya'll, I just returned from a trip to Nashville to celebrate my birthday. It was a much needed escape that I am sure Randy and Dave would have wanted for me.
Today I went right back to work. While I was not fully ready mentally or physically due to my weekend getaway I did my best to film my portion of a documentary which will be released in a few months. Following the filming a photographer arrived to capture my photo for an article for a Denver magazine which will be released in a few weeks. I only agreed to both of these projects because I was told they would help us find Randy. These projects will also help Randy's story shine. This documentary and magazine article will hopefully also help save someone else's live.
I did the best I could especially for someone who does not like the camera and who does not like being in the spotlight, but I will do what I have to do to find Randy and have his story heard.
I realize that some people wish that I would just disappear, but no such luck, I am here to stay, my voice will continue to be heard, Randy will not be forgotten.
Why Isn't Anyone Searching?
July 1st - Not only is the extreme heat affecting search efforts but monsoon season has begun in New Mexico. Along with extreme heat and monsoons, the bears are out of hibernation and random fires have been ablaze in New Mexico.
In addition it's the summer season when families take vacations. Some of my searchers are spending quality time with their families which is time well spent.
While we might not have boots on the ground, we will never stop looking for a way to find Randy.
July 5th - Today marks six months since Randy set sail on the Rio Grande in search of a "treasure chest." Six months and the only clues we have are his car, raft and dog. Oh and let's not forget the infamous backpack that was discovered by Anonymous.
A hiccup I have continue to encounter during the past six months is that SFPD and NMSP take their days off and vacations VERY seriously, so once again I strongly advise you to never ever go missing during a holiday weekend or during their vacation time.
Today I spoke government officials from the Army Corps of Engineers who are in charge of Cochiti Lake. They have not forgotten about Randy. The park rangers check the water daily. They want him found just as much as we do.
About 10 days ago 16-20 Corps members put in at Buckman and went to Cochiti, no sign of Randy. There is a lot of recreational activity at the lake now, if Randy is there he will be found.
On the flip side another missing person from Santa Fe has been found. Elliot Wolff went missing in June and was found 2 weeks later. This case is non-treasure related, the only reason I mention it is because he was found quickly and this gave his family closure sooner.
Quote of the Day: "The Search for Randy Bilyeu continues to be WTF kinda days."
July 6th - Today marks one year since my husband, Dave passed away. I spent the day with friends and family celebrating the man who taught us all so much. How to never give up, how to not allow fear to win and mostly how to be humble and kind.
No matter whom Dave encountered he treated them with respect and by doing so he was well respected. Both my first husband and second husband were good men who respected each other. I am a lucky woman to have known them both.
Quote of the Day: "We don't meet people by accident, they are meant to cross our path for a reason."
July 8th - I truly appreciate the support we continue to receive even though Randy has been missing for 6 months. While it's common for some people to give up and move on, the majority of you haven't and that is heartwarming. Our team of searchers, which at one time were total strangers have bonded as a family and keep in touch with me daily. Even the media continues to request updates. While we now realize that finding Randy might not happen today or tomorrow, we do realize that one day he will be found.
We all just need to hold on to the hope. Hope that we will one day have the answers we all so desire. Hope that we will find out what happened to Randy. Hope that this wasn't foul play and most likely an accident. Hope that he is in Mexico sipping a margarita and reading my blog. Hey, anything is possible.
Quote of the Day: "When the world says give up, hope whispers, give it one more try."
Pokemon Go users are finding dead bodies. The irony!
July 13th - By now many of you might have heard about the new treasure hunting craze, Pokemon Go.
Along with other fads it happens with a POOF. All it takes is a genius idea. In this case a 28 year old app developer will soon become a millionaire for his idea of getting people off the couch to search for "treasure" while battling the obesity epidemic. No SAR missions required.
Randy would have enjoyed this treasure hunt with his granddaughters. If only this app was revealed 2 years ago on the Today Show, instead of the other treasure hunt that endangers lives and has no proof that it isn't a hoax.
Pokemon Go might not have a "chest" to find, but the memories and healthier lifestyle far outweigh an imaginary treasure.
July 15th - On July 13th at 10:00pm I received a Facebook message notifying me that a body was found. I find it ironic that I found out Randy was missing and that he was possibly found via Facebook Messenger. I also found my team of searchers on Facebook.
Facebook is a valuable tool when used properly.
Recovering the remains has been an impressive work in progress between NMSAR, ACE, SFPD and the OMI. At this time we do not know the identity of the body. That is all the information I can reveal at this time.
Right Place, Right Time
July 17th - We continue to await confirmation of the human remains. This process could take a while. I can share that the body was found upstream from the raft area. The body was found by someone being at the right place at the right time.
My heart goes out to this person, no one ever expects to stumble upon a body, but by them doing so they are helping bringing closure to families of missing people. Such as in the case of Elliot Wolff of Santa Fe who was missing and found last month...a fisherman was at the right place at the right time.
July 18th - We continue to hurry up and wait. I continue to be patient. Oh crap, who am I kidding! I am far from being patient. But I have no other choice when matters are out of my control.
I spent the weekend gathering information and doing research of the area where the body was found.
I have managed to piece together what may have occurred, but in the end only one person knows exactly what happened. Possibly two, Leo, but unfortunately canines don't speak.
July 21st - It has been one week since the human remains were discovered. The family is being kept updated with the minimal information that has been released. All we have now is circumstantial evidence. There is a medium probability that the remains might belong to Randy. Why? Because who else would be in that area. That is what I constantly hear. I beg to differ. There are/were other people in the area. Did we already forget about the campers who were spotted in January? Did we already forget about the treasure hunter who called for assistance in March due to health issues? I have personally spoken to another treasure hunter who was in the area, yet managed to escape unharmed. Who ever would have thought that Randy would be in the area during the winter. Based on my beliefs, there is still hope that Randy could possibly still be alive. Never give up hope! Ever. Ever. On the other side of the spectrum...we are prepared for confirmation that the remains belong to Randy. At this time, we do not know.
Quote of the Day: "Never give up. There is always hope."
Open Letter to Randy
July 22nd - Six months ago I received notification that you were missing. I was shocked and bewildered, but as you well know I sprung into action to help find you. Why? Most importantly is because our daughters were hurting and as you well know I would move mountains for our daughters, little did I realize that mountains and canyons would soon become a part of my path. For the past 32 years my life was about my family. The family that you and I created. Even though our marriage failed, our friendship never did, but we did have quite a few bumps along the way. Those bumps never took away from the fact that our daughters were always our number one priority. We were often commended and we helped to inspire others that friendship after divorce is beneficial for all involved. Kudos to us.
I now found myself in an awkward situation. You went missing. A mission was set into action to achieve our goal of finding you. I cannot begin to tell you the emotional turmoil that ensued during the search for you. You didn't leave us many clues to work with, yet we never gave up hope. So many questions were asked, but we didn't have the answers. The one question we will never have an answer for is how the heck you intended to get out of the canyon. Maybe you didn't even know, nonetheless that answer is insignificant now. You and Leo are the only ones who know exactly what happened once you pushed off on the raft. Most likely, unless someone else was involved, if so, we will find out eventually. Leo isn't talking. You taught him so many tricks, but speaking wasn't one of them.
You would be so immensely proud of our daughters, just as you have always been, except even more so. Our little girls have become beautiful women who miss their dad. One day their lives were blissful as we always hoped for them, the next day they were tossed into WTF???
Yet, they handled the situation like champs. I often wondered how well you and I did at raising our daughters. It has come to my knowledge that we did an outstanding job, even though we will never receive an award for Parent of the Year, because I feel our daughters taught us more lessons than we taught them. I didn't see that coming. Then again I didn't see you being a missing person in New Mexico coming either. Life is just full of surprises.
Recently a body was discovered. We don't know who the remains belong to. They could be yours. They could belong to someone else. We simply don't know. Still so many unanswered questions. So many "If onlys..." and so many scenarios.
Regardless of the outcome of the impending investigation, I wanted to let you know that you will never be forgotten. Your granddaughters often ask about their pop-pop and will one day share memories of you with their children. And so on.
You were always an adventure seeker, a risk taker who didn't quite plan ahead enough. But, you are who you are. We are hearing nonsense about "you were doing what you loved to do." I beg to differ, what you loved to do was to spend time with your daughters and granddaughters, what you were doing was just a hobby and not relevant to what truly captured your heart.
I will continue to take care of our family, our treasure. I will also not give up hope. You know how stubborn I am.
July 26th - We were notified today that the remains that were recovered are Randy Bilyeu. Sad, but true.
The case is still under investigation and until then certains details cannot be released.
More to follow as time permits.
Radio Interview from 7.28
- Remains of missing treasure hunter found, ex-wife claims he was victim of hoax - Home | As It Happen
He was searching for a treasure that likely doesn't exist. At least that's what Linda Bilyeu believes. Her ex-husband went missing in New Mexico and later died, looking for a chest full of gold nuggets and coins.
July 29th - As soon as law enforcement released the official confirmation that the remains found were Randy's the media pounced on the update. They barely gave us time to absorb the devastating news. Whether via phone calls, Facebook messenger, email or Twitter the media found me. I reckon they think the best time to get a statement is when the family is most vulnerable, but most likely they just want the first scoop.
I said a few things that I do not take back. I do not think the treasure chest exists. I have said that from the beginning and my beliefs have not changed. I do think that Randy's mind was manipulated or else he never would have done what he did. I do think that Randy died chasing an illusion, but nonetheless...his life is over, which is very sad. He had so much to live for. He had so many people who were rooting for him to still be alive. He would be humbled by the many aching hearts. He was a brave man who did what so many only dream of doing. Randy is gone, but his memory lives on.
Please take a few minutes today to reflect on a man who made a choice that cost him his life, but hopefully will save many other lives. Celebrate his life instead of mourning his death. He wouldn't want it any other way. Randy came into my life 32 years ago, just a short time after I had lost two brothers and my father, who all died way too early. He could have simply walked away from my heartache, but instead he helped me to overcome the grief and to move forward.
Searching for Randy was my gift to him, our daughters and granddaughters. Would I have done anything differently? Absolutely not. I would do it all over again.
The case is still under investigation. Foul play has not been ruled out yet.
July 30th - Oh the drama via the Fenners. Really? Is your defense of Fenn and the bad mouthing of Randy and myself really appropriate at this time? Yes, I spoke to the media. Yes, I implied the treasure is a hoax. I am entitled to my opinion. Yes, you are also are entitled to your opinion. If it makes you feel better to refer to Randy as stupid, then do so. All I can do is consider the source and also wonder if you could be this vicious because a deceased treasure hunter invaded your space, how vicious are you while searching for the "treasure?" You call me a bitch, money hungry and attention seeker...NEWFLASH: My voice, my daughters, my family, my blog, my opinion...best of luck shutting me up. I do not have time for your drama.
Moving forward...the family is doing well. We continue to wait for the autopsy results. To find out if foul play was involved and also to retrieve Randy's personal items. Randy is missed by many. His untimely death has affected so many. So many aching hearts. So many people wondering why he decided to do why he did, when he did. I won't stop until we hopefully have those answers.
August 1st - And the waiting continues. We were told it could take 1 - 4 months to close the case. To wait for the results of the autopsy. To possibly find out the cause of death. To discover if foul play was involved. We continue to hurry up and wait for closure. We continue to wait to retrieve his remains and personal belongings. We have only waited 6 months, what is another 1- 4 months. I will give the medical examiner 2 weeks before I begin to make a bit of noise. I am not a patient person. Or am I?
In the meanwhile I want to express my gratitude for your ongoing support. For your caring hearts. For your desire to have answers for the family just as much as we want answers.
August 7th - A flutter of activity has occurred in the past week that I could barely keep up with. On the day that I received notification that the remains were officially Randy's, a wise man told me that now the difficult part begins. Huh? No way could this part of the journey be more difficult than searching for Randy. Yet, once again, the wise man was correct.
Yes, the search for Randy was very stressful. I considered quitting many times only to find myself back in the search within minutes. As I now review my notes and blog updates I can't help but think WTF! I am left flabbergasted at what was accomplished during that time span and then to know where Randy was found. You seriously can not make this stuff up. The search for Randy was the real deal. If one or more of us do not have PTSD from this experience I will be shocked.
I have been reading comments on social media sites. Shameless people who sit in their armchairs, behind a screen and judge people. Most of all judge Randy. No one has any idea what his plans were. What supplies he had with him. They could assume all they want, but if one of their friends or family members were to go missing they might think otherwise.
On the flipside, the majority of people do understand and do not judge. These are the people who I would help search for if they went missing, but PLEASE never go missing!
Is the treasure real or a hoax?
Based on my opinion and in no way reflects the passion of the Fenners, I believe it's a scam.
Prior to Randy missing I believed the treasure was real. When Randy shared the poem/clues with me, I was clueless, but I had no reason to doubt that he wasn't searching for real treasure.
Once I knew Randy was missing I still had no reason to believe the treasure wasn't real. 2-3 weeks into the search I was so damn frustrated that Randy still wasn't found and I was so desperate to find him that I even emailed Fenn and asked him to tell the police where the treasure was because that is where Randy is!! Fenn made his comment to me. It was shortly afterwards that I became a non-believer. "If I tell you, I will have to shoot you."
What ensued was 6 months of a world I never imagined I would be a part of. While coordinating searches for Randy, I also became part of Fenn's world. I met so many wonderful people who shared a passion...the treasure. I listened to so many stories and weighed all the options.
My conclusion: The treasure is a scam. Fenn is not delusional or deranged. I commend him for being one heck of a salesman. I actually picked up some "what not to do" pointers from his scheme.
August 12th - Yesterday it was suggested that, "Maybe the original Linda should make a comeback." I didn't realize that the original Linda left. Yes, I was a bit upset and at times irate in the beginning of the search, but by toning down my voice and gaining wisdom this in no way means that I ever toned down my actions.
I have never stopped focusing on where Randy was, how to find Randy or what happened to Randy. I never stopped wondering if foul play was involved, what was Randy planning, how he planned on getting back to his car, what was he looking for (besides the damn treasure.) I never liked unsolved mysteries. I never liked to leave a puzzle unfinished. I never intend to give up. But, the important aspect is Randy has been found. I have time to figure out the rest of the mystery. So, the original Linda is still present and accounted for, but at times she works best alone and doesn't have to make a lot of noise in order to get shit done.
Which brings me to...what happened last night. Carissa received a voicemail from the OMI (medical examiner's office.) Supposedly Randy is still there and his body was released on July 26th. WTF? We were told by the detective at Santa Fe PD that SHE would notify us as what to do next. She was the responsible party. We were following her lead and she obviously FAILED us again. Michelle has made arrangements for the cremation.
I am so extremely proud of my daughters. I am in awe of their strength and their class. They had ample reasons to collapse into a heap of self-pity, but they didn't. They have their emotional breakdowns and dust themselves off and move forward.
Together, we share our feelings, we cry, we laugh and we support each other.
Which brings me back to...the detective from the SFPD is the reason I was irate and frustrated in the beginning, but instead of tolerating her insufficiency I delegated her to other family members. In the long run that didn't help me much. For the past 7 months I have heard repeatedly how incompetent the Santa Fe PD is...I continue to concur.
FYI...Due to frustration I may combust.
Open Letter to Bob Rodgers - New Mexico Search and Rescue
- Open Letter to Bob Rodgers of New Mexico Search and Rescue
Search and Rescue is a volunteer organization that goes above and beyond to find and rescue those who are in need. This is a letter to Bob Rodgers of NMSAR...
August 15th, Update from Facebook group ... (In Memory of Randy Bilyeu)
You have all been a significant part of the search for Randy. Whether you searched photos or drone videos in hopes of finding clues, or shared prayers and positive thoughts...your ongoing support has been appreciated.
As many of you are aware, the search for Randy enlisted the assistance of volunteer ground troops, canines, river and drone searches from New Mexico and Texas. In addition to NM Search and Rescue ground troops, the NM State Police Dive Team and helicopter searches. No log was left unturned.
But in the end, it was someone at the right place at the right time who found Randy. If a private contractor working for the Corps of Engineers were not in the area where Randy was found for their once a year maintenance visit, chances are Randy would still be missing. So, we are extremely thankful for them!
There have been many scenarios and theories discussed about what happened to Randy, but there is a high probability that we will never know what happened due to lack of clues. Just like the search, lack of clues.
We spoke with the medical examiner on Friday. The autopsy has been finalized, but it's open-ended with the cause of death just in case more evidence is discovered. Yet, that is unlikely.
The case is still under investigation, but our goal was met. Randy was found. We have made arrangements and his cremains will be shipped to Florida soon. I will continue to keep you posted as the investigation continues.
Whether you have known Randy personally or just know of him, chances are you are grieving for his loss of life. Wherever you are in this world, I encourage you to celebrate Randy's life in your own special way. We would appreciate you sharing photos and your celebration with us.
August 19th - Randy's cremains are home in Orlando. I cannot begin to explain how many emotions I experienced while signing for the package. The funeral home and the USPS were both very professional and speedy with the process from cremation to delivery.
I am so extremely proud of my daughters. Their courage and strength is to be admired by many. Randy was so very proud of our daughters and granddaughters while he was alive. He would now be beaming if he could witness their actions and the love they continue to help spread to others, while they themselves are hurting.
I cannot imagine what Randy was thinking back on January 5th when he chose to push off on a raft on the Rio Grande. We will most likely never know what his intentions were, but that doesn't stop me from trying to figure it out. Never give up!
I've been asked repeatedly if Forrest has extended his condolences...the answer continues to be, no. There has been no contact with him since February when the girls and I stopped responding to his emails and then he began to pretend that Randy never existed. But, Randy did exist as do many Fenners. I just hope they realize that they are just an audience for him, just admirers to stroke his ego...they could easily be replaced and indeed they are, quite often. And no one cares.
In the meanwhile the case is still under investigation.
August 22nd - Rant: The SFPD told us twice since last week that she's waiting on the records from the OMI (medical examiner) so she could work on her part of the investigation.
How could that be since the OMI told me on August 12th that the autopsy was finalized on August 10th and she was releasing the records to the SFPD for their part of the investigation.
Obviously someone was incorrect.
I called the OMI. I spoke to Mary in records. She told me that the detective picked up the records on July 19th. I said, that's impossible!
She then proceeded to give me an attitude without hearing me out and accusing me of calling her a liar. She was not only unprofessional but very rude. I then explained the remains weren't confirmed until July 26th and the autopsy wasn't finalized until August 10th so please tell me how she picked up the state records.
Mary says: Hold on.
Mary returns: I apologize. My mistake. (Ya think!) The detective picked up photos from the scene. The records will be mailed out by the end of the week!
So, the medical assistant/secretary or whomever that I spoke with on August 12th did release the records as she told me, but she didn't tell me she was releasing them to the records department who sat on them for what will be up to two weeks.
Which leads me to...SFPD won't get the records until just before Labor Day weekend.
In a nutshell...we are screwed.
One of the reasons I'm sharing our experiences with you is for you to learn from us. Hopefully you will never, ever, ever go through a situation like this or even something similar, but if you should, you'll remember where you learned that tidbit of knowledge.
August 27th - Randy's youngest daughter, Michelle, turned 27 years old today. Her first birthday without her father. There will be many firsts ahead for our daughters and granddaughters, but their strength and adversity to face difficult situations overrides the sadness. Our girls move forward with a heavy heart that is filled with love and faith. I could not be prouder of them.
As a family the bond we have is stronger and more priceless than any amount of gold. For in the end it is about who surrounds you, not what surrounds you. Amen.
Find Me Group - Jerry Kelly Snyder
August 31st - As was predicted the Find Me Group has announced that their algorithm found Randy. They are also spreading false claims. Their 13 predications were not even close to where Randy was found. We all know the truth. Here is my rebuttal letter, written in honor of the FInd Me Group.
September 4th - I received an email response from Kelly Snyder. Just as expected, I am wrong and he is right. Really? I beg to differ. Time will tell. (Rebuttals are included in the article above.)
September 6th - The search continues to find out if the treasure is real or a hoax.
Come on folks, you didn't think I was going to give up on finding out the truth, did you?
Never give up, unless giving up is your only option.
September 10th - We continue to wait for the Santa Fe PD to finish their investigation and either close the case or proceed forward. As y'all are aware by now, the Santa Fe PD works at their own pace, which is VERY slowly.
We are in the beginning stages of planning Randy's Celebration of Life and we are all in agreement that he would really definitely approve of our daughter's plans.
The Find Me Group continues to be a nuisance about requesting the coordinates as to where Randy's remains were found. OK, first of all their bogus article claims their prediction aided in finding Randy. Second of all, they are psychics. Hellooooo? Think about that for a minute.
September 14th - It has been 8 months since I phoned in the missing person report. While Randy has been found and returned to his family, the case is still under investigation. We continue to await word from SFPD.
September 16 - On August 10th Forrest Fenn filmed a segment for the Today Show. He must have been in his glory smiling for the cameras just two weeks after one of his treasure hunters was confirmed dead. Now that is surely a unique way to grief for someone who lost their life searching for a chest that is possibly real or possibly not.
Obviously priorities first, he must keep up the charade or else the Forrest Fenn Treasure Hunt just might crumble.
How Forrest Fenn could not have the decency to extend his condolences to Randy's daughters, granddaughters or sister is beyond my realm of thinking. But we are all unique individuals...some of us have a heart, some of us don't.
I look forward to the day when The Today Show must issue a public apology to their viewers for endorsing a treasure hunt that they have no proof even exists.
The good news is that the family is doing well. My daughters, granddaughters, Randy's sister and nephew have a strong bond and continue to support each other just like they have always done.
In addition. I am working on a few articles and interviews and one day a book on the search for Randy. Come on ya'll...you must know that I can't stop until I right a wrong. The show must go on, but you won't see me on The Today Show, I am more of an ABC kinda girl.
Sept 21st - We heard from the Santa Fe PD. The detective gave us the results of the autopsy, the same results I acquired over a month ago from the OMI. She awaits the state report from the Dive Team and contact with the DA in order to proceed with her part of the investigation.
September 22nd - AP Update
- Authorities: Death of treasure hunter remains a mystery
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The death of a man who moved out West to follow his dream of searching for a $2 million hidden treasure remains a mystery as medical investigators have been unable to shed more light on his final moments in the backcountry of
Sept 24th - It's a miracle! Supposedly a 4th photo has emerged of the Fenn treasure chest.
Remember he said he saved 3 photos and the rest of the photos were destroyed. Lo and behold another photo was found in an old laptop, how convenient.
This attempted ploy to save face is very amateurish, whoever concocted the idea should be removed from the Fenn payroll.
On another note; I am contacted quite often. A few times a week. Those who are reaching out to me want to help or need help in one way or another with this treasure fiasco, while I appreciate hearing your thoughts before you reach out to me please consider this...if you are an irate ex-Fenner who intends to go through me to get even with Fenn please do not waste my time or yours. While I do feel sorry for your losses whether income, relationships or sanity, do not reach out to me in an angry mode. Remember I am the foe here, not the enemy. So, take a walk or have a beer before reaching out to me. Thank you!
On a very sad note Susan, an integral part of my search team has passed away.
September 28th - This case continues to go round and round, from one agency to another. Teamwork, people, teamwork.
During the search for Randy the two most efficient agencies that I have worked with are NMSAR and the OMI. Actually just NMSAR, since the OMI did hold onto Randy's remains even though he was ready to be released 2 weeks prior to them notifying us, but that was due to miscommunication amongst other parties.
So, the winner of the most efficient agency during the past 9 months goes to Department of Public Safety, NM Search and Rescue.
October 9th - Wow. Can't believe it's been so long since I posted an update. I've had a lot going on, most recently Hurricane Matthew, but I am glad to say damage in Orlando was minimal. Sadly the east coast shoreline took quite a beating, but they will rebuild. Bigger and better.
We continue to wait on news of the case. It's still an ongoing investigation.
October 19th - Hey ya'll. Yep, we are still waiting on the results of the final investigation. It's been 9 months since Randy went missing. 3 months since Randy was found. And one heck of a journey. But, Randy has been found.
Those who cared for Randy now need to focus on how to adjust to life without their father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend. Randy is very missed by all.
I have been working on many projects. My mission is not complete, but I am learning to let go and focus on my family, friends and myself. Randy would not want us sulking and being sad, he would expect us to move forward.
I have new people reaching out to me weekly. I am constantly learning something new or remembering something old. It's been a long 9 months, but Randy won't be forgotten, I meant it when I said...Randy did not die in vain. There is a reason he did what he did and died doing it. I will figure his out.
November 6th - A lot has been going on. Our oldest granddaughter turned 10 years old and missed not having her pop-pop at her birthday celebration. Faith also missed not having her Gramps to celebrate her first Halloween/Birthday party. To lose two grandfathers within six short months taught our granddaughters a tough life lesson.
We continue to await results of the investigation via SFPD. Hopefully we will hear something soon. Preferably before the close of 2019.
Last night we had a private family gathering in Randy's honor at one of his favorite sports restaurants. We shared a few laughs and remembrance stories. The gathering was bittersweet but memorable. We still can't refer to it as a form of closure because there are still so many unanswered questions. We don't know if or when closure will ever occur, but we have learned to move forward. Living life in a standstill is not healthy for anyone. We just learn to adapt and eventually accept.
In the meanwhile Fenn continues to relish in the limelight making media appearances and releasing documentaries and movies while I continue to lurk in the background. I'm not the only one lurking...there are many. I sure am glad my name isn't Forrest Fenn.
November 24th - Today the family celebrated our first Thanksgiving without hearing from Randy. One year ago he was in Santa Fe searching for treasure during the Thanksgiving holiday. As anyone who has lost a loved one knows the "firsts" are the most difficult times, but we learn to adjust along the way.
We heard from the Santa Fe Police Department, the detective in charge is finalizing her data and will send her report to the District Attorney in a few weeks. Then the DA will sit on the report for a few weeks, y'all know the drill, this isn't our first rodeo with the authorities in New Mexico.
In the meanwhile I continue to work on matters from my end, like I mentioned before, just because I am quiet doesn't mean I am not hard at work. I will get answers. I won't give up. No one goes searching for a myth, down the Rio Grande, in the winter and just dies. Not on my watch.
January 5th - Today marks one year that Randy embarked on his final journey to find Forrest Fenn's hidden treasure. We will never know what he was thinking when he pushed off on his raft and began his 9 mile trek down the Rio Grande. I could imagine how confident he felt that he finally nailed the spot because why else would he have risked his life to make that journey. Yet, as we know he perished and his family remains at a loss. His friends during his lifetime and after his death are also at a loss. Randy's decision leaves us all perplexed.
This past holiday season was a bittersweet one. While the family missed Randy he was remembered with us sharing stories and memories. Our daughters are quite an inspiration with their strength. Never did they imagine that their father would be the first Forrest Fenn treasure hunter to lose his life searching for an enigma.
Feb 7th - The case is closed. Randy's belongings are being released to the family. We do not have access to the official report and findings yet.
While Randy was an adult and supposedly responsible for his actions that led to his death, I continue to firmly believe that his demise could have been prevented had one person never had begun this farce of a treasure hunt.
Karma is a bitch.
- Case Cracked: Randy Bilyeu - YouTube
AI found Randy: http://qz.com/770022/ai-for-missing-persons-found-fenn-treasure-hunter-randy-bilyeu/ Fenn leads search for Randy? https://www.theguardian.com...
Open Letter to Forrest Fenn
FYI: I have removed my Open Letter to Forrest Fenn article from this site and moved it to my other site.
You could find the letter here ... Open Letter to Forrest Fenn.
The People of New Mexico
The people of New Mexico have been a bright light in a very somber hot mess. They have been wonderful to us. They found us through this blog and then came to Facebook to join our group.
They welcomed us with open arms, virtual hugs and positive thoughts. So many kind hearted souls reached out to us. We are honored and we feel like part of their family.
Randy might have went missing in a state with too many protocols, but the people of New Mexico far outweigh the protocols and jurisdictions.
The Search for Randy Bilyeu
Contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org
© 2016 Linda Bilyeu