Fremont County

Body found in Arkansas River in Colorado confirmed as treasure hunter Eric Ashby

FREMONT COUNTY, Colo. - A family is now able to begin grieving after months of wondering what happened to their loved one during a float trip in Fremont County. 

The Fremont County Coroner’s Office confirmed that the body found east of the Holcim Cement Plant in the Arkansas River on July 28, 2017, is that of 31-year-old Eric Ashby.

Ashby was last seen on June 28, 2017, rafting down the Royal Gorge and believed to have drowned. Numerous searches were conducted and came up without results until a body was found a month later.

An autopsy was done in El Paso County on August 1, 2017. DNA samples from the body and Eric Ashby’s father were sent to the Colorado Bureau of investigation for comparison. 

On January 26, 2018, Fremont County Coroner Randy Keller received the DNA Reports and was able to positively identify the body as Eric Ashby.

One of Ashby's friends said in an ABC exclusive that Ashby was searching for treasure when he disappeared. Dave Gambrell said that Asbhy moved to Colorado just to search for $2 million worth of gold and jewels supposedly hidden in the Rocky Mountains. He reportedly was one of many treasure-seekers using clues mapped out in a cryptic 2010 poem by New Mexico art dealer and collector Forrest Fenn.


Circumstantial evidence points to Eric Ashby's identification

Friend says Eric Ashby disappeared searching for treasure

Treasure hunting may have led to missing man's disappearance

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