Martin Manley ended his life on Thursday, but before doing so the sportswriter left an extensive suicide note on a website that also seemed to hint at a buried treasure of $200,000 in gold.
In the heartbreaking note, Manley said he was tired of seeing the deterioration of his once-sharp mind (Martin once developed a system of determining the value of basketball players that was adopted by the NBA). He said he made the decision last year that he would end his life on his 60th birthday.
But the letter also included what appeared to be a treasure map.
“I had no financial problems. I sold my house which was completely paid for in 1998. The same year I bought $30,000 in 1/10 ounce gold coins and pre 1965 silver coins. Gold was $300/ounce when I bought it and silver was $4/ounce. Gold went up to $1,700 and Silver to $44 making my stash worth over $200,000.”
He then added the coordinates, 38.800542, -94.687884, which point to a trail at the end of a park near his home.
Overland Park spokesman Sean Reilly said several people showed up to the park with geocaching devices on Friday hoping to find the coordinates of Manley’s buried treasure.
But police searched a 1,000-square-foot area near the location Martin Manley left in his suicide note, and conclude there was never any treasure.
“What we know from family members is that this individual did buy gold but at some point he sold it or gave it away. They feel this is a hoax and not true,” Reilly told MSN News.
Authorities noted that Manley had sent a separate, private letter to his sister that said he gave away most of his things ahead of his suicide.
“You will see that I’ve given away almost all of my personal possessions. I’ve also given away a lot of money over the past several months to people that need it infinitely more than I ever would including all of my gold and silver.”
Overland Park officials also released a statement Friday, dissuading treasure hunters from trying to search in the park.
“There is no treasure. This morning sparked quite the treasure hunt. Overland Park Police have spoken with the family of the victim and they indicated that the victim had purchased gold but had given it away. The alleged ‘buried treasure’ is a hoax. Please be mindful of this and that the Overland Park Arboretum does not allow digging.”
If there was gold hidden anywhere else, it appears Martin Manley took the secret with him.