A STUDENT has disappeared after placing a final piece of a treasure hunt that took two years to complete and that his family is now using to find it.
Hunter Lewis, 21, canoed from Trinidad Beach to Humboldt Country, California on December 30 and has not been seen or heard from since.
The aerospace engineering student was trying to hide a final piece of the puzzle in an intricate treasure hunt he had been organizing for more than two years for his family and friends when he disappeared, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Hunter was likely heading to Flatiron Rock, a small island several hundred meters offshore, but never returned and allegedly struck a rocky reef in the dangerous waters along the coast, Father Corey Lewis told the publication.
The family is now using those leads to find Hunter, Lewis said.
“It is this lost treasure,” his father said, adding on Tuesday that “at the moment it is a recovery operation, not a rescue operation.
“I just hope to find my son so he can go back to his mother to bury him.” “
Hunter’s destroyed canoe was found washed up on the shoreline, while a gift his father gave him that launched his passion for treasure hunting was also found: a wooden cigar box.
His father said, “I gave it to Hunter, and he kept his little treasures and personal effects there, and he had it with him and he hid a treasure in it. We found it on a beach. “
Hunter’s parents now hope that a 3D-printed heart-shaped key, which was the last clue he left behind before disappearing, can help find the student’s final resting place.
The key was left with a note saying that the treasure would be found “where your heart is” when held against the horizon from a particular location.
According to the Times, the key’s teeth would line up with the rocks surrounding Flatiron, with the key’s heart surrounding the island itself.
The unfortunate outing occurred when Hunter and his friends were visiting Humboldt County over winter break.
“We were looking for the different clues [on Dec. 30] and we knew he was hiding the treasure, ”Elder Lewis told The Times. And he never came back. “
Hunter’s father then alerted authorities, prompting the US Coast Guard to launch a rescue mission, which is still ongoing.
In a Facebook group dedicated to his son, Lewis wrote on Friday that the search was not “over.”
Some 2,900 people joined the group and helped find nearby trails and beaches through Thursday night.
Earlier in the week, Lewis posted a photo of Hunter’s wooden treasure cube and promised, “I will never stop. “
“I’ll take Hunter home.”
According to the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, an underwater search Thursday in the Flatiron Rock area revealed no signs of Hunter or his belongings.
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