Rescuers search for treasure hunter lost in Superstition Mountains

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by Steve Bodinet

azfamily.com

Posted on December 24, 2009 at 5:34 PM

Updated Friday, Dec 25 at 7:01 PM

CANYON LAKE -- For more than 150 years, those looking for gold have ventured into the Superstition Mountains just east of Apache Junction. Many have found tragedy instead of riches.

It is some of the most rugged country in not only Arizona, but in the world. It's said that everything out here bites, stings or eats meat. It is a dangerous place to be alone and lost, and that's exactly what searchers fear has happened to 34-year-old Jesse Joseph Capen.

Capen came to Arizona's Superstitions looking for treasure in late November. He hasn't been seen since, and his tent and Jeep Cherokee were found in the area. Searchers found the missing man's wallet with money still in it, so they're not expecting foul play.

Searchers are combing the area by both ground and air. Dep. Don Roughan of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Department says intense winter storms that have hit the Superstition Mountains near Canyon Lake during the past few days are cause for concern.

Roughan warns anyone who may be going into Arizona's back country to be prepared.

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