A man who committed suicide claims he buried $200,000 at an area arboretum, but Overland police say it's a hoax.
However, extra police apparently are at the Overland Park Arboretum to prevent people from coming with shovels and other utensils to dig. Police themselves used metal detectors to search for any treasure, but found nothing.
Police will be at the arboretum this weekend.
Officers turned away several dozen people who had high hopes of finding buried treasure. It is illegal to dig at the arboretum, which is city property.
Riley Ewing was one of those who showed up hoping to find buried treasure. He said he looked in bushes, but didn't see any ground that looked like it had been disturbed recently.
"I'm going out with empty pockets, but it certainly was fun," Ewing said.
Martin Manley shot himself about 5 a.m. Thursday in the parking lot of the Overland Park Police Department headquarters. Before he killed himself, he indicated he buried the coins at the arboretum. He listed the GPS coordinates of 38.800542, -94.687884.
The family told the police that is a hoax, and that Manley actually gave all the coins away.
"We looked with the metal detector," said Overland Park police Sgt. Mark Wilson. "There were no hits at all. And we had even contact with his family who said he didn't leave anything. This is a hoax."
Overland Park spokesman Sean Reilly said Manley's family maintains that he gave away or sold the gold coins.
"But he did not bury it," he said. "You have a better chance of winning a prize from the Lotto than you do finding anything out here."
Talk of a treasure exploded on social media. But Manley's long writings and sports career also captured national headlines on Friday.
On his website, Manley wrote that it was his 60th birthday and he would kill himself. He offered detailed posts that covered his life and actions. He spent months planning his death.
He wrote that he bought $30,000 in gold and pre-1965 silver coins. He said gold was at $300 an ounce and silver was at $4 an ounce when he made the purchase in 1998. He said due to increased value that his stash was worth $200,000.
Manley worked as a statistician in the Kansas City Star's sports department until he left in 2012 after seven years. He said he quit, in part because the numerous layoffs took their toll.
Manley is credited with inventing the NBA's Efficiency Rating. He was one of the best sports statisticians in the country, and he wrote about sports on his own blog. He also authored several books.
"Martin was a terrific guy and a good employee," said Mike Fannin, executive editor of the Kansas City Star. "This is a real shock, just an incredible tragedy. Our hearts and thoughts are with his family today."
Fannin, the newspaper's former sports editor, was praised by Manley and he quoted from a letter of recommendation he got from Fannin.
To see more of what Manley wrote, click here.
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