Linda (Kaywood) Bilyeu is a self-published author. Her books are available on Amazon. She writes from the heart—there is no other way.
The Search For The Missing Treasure Hunter
Randy Bilyeu is not just a missing treasure hunter in Santa Fe. He is a father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend. Unfortunately he is now a missing person who needs to be found. Randy is my ex-husband and father of my children. I have known this man for almost 32 years. His family knows how he ticks, so we thought.
Randy moved to Colorado 2 years to live his dream. To find Forrest Fenn's treasure after he viewed a segment on the Today Show in which additional clues were announced. This article is not about the treasure. It's about Randy and how his family is distraught and confused. This article is about the many compassionate citizens who have reached out during this time to help find Randy. It's about learning how at times, you can't just rely on the police, due to low resources, holiday weekends, short staffed or whatever...you must do what you can to be part of the team in helping to find a missing person!
We have heard quite a few times that Randy should not have taken a raft on the Rio Grande during the winter. That is just not done. But, it has been done. The man was on a mission to find that darn treasure chest. In addition Randy always had a tendency to do things his way. He had told our daughters about his intention to search areas of the Rio Grande, but he told them he would wait until the spring season. He confided in two friends that he would be making this trek on January 5th. They pleaded with him to wait, but he didn't listen to their pleas.
So many people are perplexed by his decision. Which wasn't a wise one, but oh well...now we are on a mission to find Randy and we will not stop until he is found.
I have accumulated a mountain of tips and clues after endless conversations from friends, family and caring individuals who all want the same thing...to find Randy!
On January 14th, I entered a world that I didn't know existed when I reported Randy missing to the Santa Fe PD. I entered a world of treasure hunters. They had rushed to the rescue! A world of driven and dedicated people who consider themselves a family. They care for each other as if each searcher is part of their family.
The treasure hunters rushed to assist and have gone without sleep, food and they spent endless hours creating scenarios and mapping out possible coordinates. They took time off from work to help with the search. We have been overwhelmed with their compassion and thoughtfulness.
Originally he had planned to set sail on January 4th, but he wasn't able to get his raft ready on time. On January 5th he set sail on his inflatable raft with his beloved dog, Leo, in tow. They both have had many adventures together. They were an inseparable duo.
This was supposedly a one day trip as told to his friends. He intended to set sail, explore the areas he needed to and head back to the car. He had a sandwich waiting for him in his car for after his trip down the river. (Update: The sandwich was actually a bag of pretzels.)
The Santa Fe New Mexican
- Volunteers, Forrest Fenn keep up search for treasure hunter - The Santa Fe New Mexican: Local News
Dozens of volunteers with a spiritual kinship for a missing treasure seeker will gather Tuesday morning in hopes of finding 54-year-old Randy Bilyeu.
Just The Facts
I know there are many people who care about Randy and his family, so I am going to share a timeline of facts that we put together.
January 2nd - Randy arrived in Santa Fe.
January 3rd - Checked out of the Motel 6.
January 4th - Purchased the raft from Big 5 Sporting Goods. Texted one friend. Spoke with another. Also texted his sister. Scouted near the river. Mentioned to one friend, not to be concerned since he has a GPS, wetsuit and waders. Whether or not he was wearing the wader or wetsuit, we do not know.
January 5th - Went rafting on the Rio Grande in search of his passion, the treasure. It was on this day that his best friend began to call him. Randy's phone went directly to voicemail. There is no cell service in the canyon. Supposedly there was a mysterious sound, a possible whistle that a Forest Ranger heard mid-morning. Will we ever know if that sound was relevant? Randy did own a whistle and normally carried one.
January 6th - 13th - Best friend continued to call the phone and continued to panic. He contacted me for help about 10pm on January 13th.
January 14th - 7am I filed a missing person's report and the anxiety, stress and confusion began. The SFPD found his car. Supposedly the car was spotted by the Rio Grande on January 5th by a Forest Ranger (found this out later) and by a security guard, but nothing was suspected and the car wasn't inspected. The car was spotted again on the 12th and reported, but nothing was done until I called the police on the 14th.
January 15th - The SFPD did not have a chopper available so they requested the assistance of a medical transport company. The medi-team found the raft and Leo!! ALIVE! Yes, Leo survived the frigid temperatures. Randy had placed a sweater on him which helped save his life. Leo survived 10 days with no food, but he did have the water from the river to drink.
I remember after Hurricane Katrina when dogs were found in homes 4 weeks afterwards and they were alive! Barely, but they survived and flourished. Neither the raft nor Leo were tied down. Leo was free to roam a very confined area. It took Leo about 30 minutes to calm down before he would accept a piece of a granola bar from the nurse on board. Of course he was traumatized and he missed his daddy! But where was his daddy? He growled at the rescuers, barked and was defensive. Do you blame him? The helicopter added to his already traumatic state. Randy had shared a story that occurred two years ago when him and Leo were hiking. They were approached by a mountain lion. Leo stood his ground by snarling and growling...the mountain lion retreated. Way to go, Leo! If only he could talk.
Leo is now in foster care of a loving family until further notice.
January 16th - The family...5 members had no contact from the SFPD. It was a holiday weekend. We called, we left messages. No contact. I called the NMSP who said only the detective on the case can the give details of the investigation. (Are you joking? Nope!)
Our only lifeline was the NMSAR who never gave up. They searched through the weekend. These amazing volunteers reached out and kept in touch with the family. The mission of a search and rescue team is to save lives, they take this task personally. They search as if the missing person is their own family member. They leave no stone unturned. But they searched their designated area and didn't find Randy.
The designated area began at their IPP - Initial Planning Point, which was the raft and searched until they couldn't search anymore. Due to the river, which NMSAR volunteers do not search and the dangerous terrain their search area was limited, but they still gave it their best shot.
They needed more clues. More evidence. Which we understand. These heroic volunteers can only do so much. I did hear that local residents and other treasure hunters were searching for Randy. We were so thankful.
Randy's family and volunteer citizens set out to get more evidence. More clues.
Treasure Hunters Set Out To Seek Randy
January 17th - I was so frustrated that today I reached out to the Mayor of Santa Fe and the Governor of New Mexico for help! I simply could not understand how wrong this investigation was being handled. If at first you don't succeed, you gotta keep on trying! Never give up!
A Sergeant from the SFPD told the Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper that they were never told that Randy was looking for the treasure? Are you kidding me? When I phoned in the missing person report I told the detective that Randy was there searching for Forrest Fenn's treasure. She said, Yes I have heard about that treasure. At that time she should have added that vital information to the missing person's report and notified her sergeant. Well, at least that is what they would have done on Law and Order or on Longmire!
January 18th - NMSAR suspended the search due to not enough evidence or clues. But the volunteers and treasure hunters did not stop! They searched leaving no log unturned. Granted there are more rocks and boulders in the vast search area, but supposedly the treasure is hidden in or near a log...whatever that means.
January 19th - Once again, I was reading an online newspaper. I caught the name of the other friend that Randy had told about this adventure to! His ex-girlfriend who also lives in Colorado! As a team my family found Tonya's number. I called her. She had a map! I asked why she didn't call the police sooner? She said she just found out on Saturday that Randy was missing! She tried calling. Over the weekend she called the number (SFPD) that was on the missing person's photo and no one answered the phone. She then found an online article and contacted that reporter.
She sent me the map, I sent the searchers the map. It was not a detailed map with a pinpointed location, it was a map that only Randy understood.
On this day the searchers mostly consisted of treasure hunters. It was a private search arranged by Forrest Fenn who is also trying to find Randy. I would hope so, since he is the one who hid the treasure chest.
NMSAR did do an air search, but ground searches are still suspended. The detective in charge of the case did snap some surveillance photos of two male campers. One with a red jacket on and one with a blue jacket. Randy wears a two tone blue jacket! I was sent the photos which are blurry and pixelated due to the distance. I along with 6 family members checked the photos, one of them could possibly be Randy! We just aren't sure. These men weren't questioned. They did not show signs of distress. They just watched the copter fly by.
If you are interested in more info about Forrest Fenn and the treasure, I suggest you use Google. This article is not about that. This article is about what we can do to find Randy and bring closure to his family.
After MANY requests and pleas the New Mexico State Police FINALLY towed Randy's car! They were still waiting on a search warrant to search it. Protocol. It's been 15 days since anyone had contact from Randy and they are waiting on a search warrant. They found the car 6 days ago, it was first spotted on the 5th and first reported on the 12th and they are still waiting on a search warrant. Wow. I suggest to never go missing on a holiday weekend in Santa Fe.
I, once again phoned with the detective on the case. I asked her why her sergeant was unaware that Randy was searching for the treasure. She did not have an answer. I stopped communication with her and passed her off to my daughters and Randy's sister. I have zero tolerance for incompetence, just one damn job! Do it right or step aside!
January 20th - Randy is still missing. I will update as needed. I will try my best to answer your questions below, if I have the answers.
As I said Randy's car was spotted on the 5th by a security guard and a Forest Ranger. It was spotted again on the 12th and reported, nothing was done by the police until I reported Randy missing on the 14th. On the 14th they found the car. We asked if they searched the vehicle. No they didn't. Friday they didn't search it. Then the 3 day weekend. NMSAR put in a request to search the car. They were told by SFPD that they needed a search warrant. Yet the car still remained in the spot that Randy parked it. I called the NMSP and put in a request to search the car. I received photos of a map on the dash. They sent me back to the SFPD who said they needed a search warrant. Oh my! On the 19th I called the detective and asked her if the car was towed yet. She said no, we left it there for the 3 day weekend just in case Randy walked out of the area he could drive it. Are you kidding me lady? Later that day my daughters and Randy's sister placed phones calls to the detective and the car was finally towed. But the detective in charge said they still need a search warrant. On Jan 20th...that same detective told my daughter when she once again called to see if they received the search warrant, that "I spoke with the DA and we do not need a search warrant!"
All together now... "You had one job!"
Today I received an email from the Governor that I will be contacted from Public Safety Department. Within an hour they phoned. We spoke, I vented, he explained, he was considerate and I felt a bit better. Kudos to the Governor for caring enough to help our family find Randy. I did find out that NMSAR was never notified that the car was towed and was about to be searched. They should have been notified. They requested to be notified. They are New Mexico's search and rescue team!
I'm not sure if Randy's disappearance could become a comical movie or a drama. It's surreal! I never imagined any scenario like this. It's a daily vicious circle.
As of now, the car hasn't been searched. I did find out that the SFPD supposedly did ping his phone when I reported him missing, the last location was the Motel 6 on the 3rd, then just random cell towers. Yet, he did use his phone many times on the 4th.
No one has searched his car or apartment in Colorado for his laptop which could contain vital information. After many pleas of having Leo help search for his daddy, they still haven't done so. But we do know the area around the Rio Grande is rough terrain and Little Leo's paws could be injured and we do not want that for him.
I had a lengthy and very productive conversation with NMSAR today. I did learn that the car was finally searched and a map with five X's was discovered. Later on I found out that the X's were irrelevant. Once again, only Randy could understand the X's. Maybe one day we might find out if those markings were relevant to the case, but right now...we do not know.
Quote of the day ... "If this investigation wasn't so serious, it would actually be comical."
Santa Fe Flyer - Randall not Randell, Blue eyes, not green. Both of which I clearly stated.
Map Found In Randy's Car
Randy was spotted on his trip to Santa Fe for Winter Solstice
On 12/24/15 Randy was at the Santa Fe National Forest Supervisor's Office off Highway 14 from 1012 - 1019 am. He brought a visitor map in with him, and he was asking if there was a road on the Caja del Rio Plateau that would take him to the east rim because he wanted to take photographs of Bandelier National Monument and wanted to get photos from different positions out there. He pointed at the Frijoles Canyon area. Thomas and Josh gave him the SFNF Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) and pointed him towards Forest Road 24NB but then said he'd have to walk from there because you aren't supposed to drive on any the roads if they aren't on the MVUM. He told them that he was driving around out there earlier and got lost and pointed to the area east of Colorado Peak. (there are a lot of roads out there are few have signs because people shoot them)
He came in with that Santa Fe NF visitor map that was in his car - the one with the "SUN" symbol on it. My guess is he might have bought it at PLIC - the BLM Public Land Info Office that is up the road, and maybe since he was asking such detailed questions about SFNF they advised him to come to the SFNF office.
Since we only started selling that visitor map a few months ago, I thought he bought it in our office and this morning I asked our front desk employees if they recognized him, a guy asking questions about the Caja and Bandelier. And they did.
They never caught his name but this seems pretty likely it is Randy. They really thought he looked like him. He did not bring Leo inside. He did not mention the FF treasure. They assumed he was a professional photographer.
Family confirmed it was Randy in the photographs.
Jan 21 - This is the map that was found in Randy's car. The X areas coincide with photos taken during his December trip. They are his scouting notes. The first X is near the mesa, close to where his raft was found. The second X is a good shot to the Frijoles Canyon. The third X is I have no idea. I am burned out on X's. The HOB is from the Fenn poem. Home of Brown. Again, no idea. Ask Google.
His phone was properly pinged via NMSAR. Last call was on Jan 5th at 8:17 am. A call from his friend that went to voicemail. Randy was one hour away from the river. Supposedly according to calculations he parked his raft on the sandbar about 1-2pm.
A treasure hunter suggested that possibly Randy's timing was for the winter solstice. This also has to do with the Fenn poem to "find the treasure." We do know he was in Santa Fe on December 22nd which was the date of the solstice, I guess, but he didn't go near the river. Possibly he concocted a plan for the 5th and the sunset. This is just speculation due to the clues collected. We just don't know.
If he was seeking the sun rays, supposedly that has to do with the poem, then we just might have the answer as to, "Why would he go rafting in the winter?" The question that so many curious minds are perplexed about.
We do know that his wallet was in his car. So this means if something did happen to him he had no ID. I called the jail on January 14th. I called 5 surrounding hospitals, twice in 8 days. I asked for John Doe's. No hits.
There were two campers/poachers spotted 6-7 miles south of the raft area along the Rio Grande. They were seen by a police helicopter yesterday. The "detective" on board did take photos. One was wearing a jacket similar to the one that Randy owns, but the photos were so blurry we can't really tell. We were told that one of the campers vehicles was possibly located. The area is popular for hikers, the car could not even belong to one of those two campers. Anyway, who camps in the winter? To each his own.
Today's volunteer search was appreciated. While we are very thankful for the few volunteers who are still searching, we just wish someone would solve this mystery. The searchers received the incorrect coordinates and time was wasted.
Could there be foul play involved? We will not rule anything out at this point. Has law enforcement fingerprinted the raft or car? Not that we were made aware of.
Could he have drowned? It's possible, supposedly he had a wetsuit and waders with him. The river is low which makes visibility a plus. The river was searched MANY times, no hits. Searched by air and searched by the New Mexico Dive Team. But Randy was supposedly in the area for 11 days before anyone went to search, he could have been swept away into Cochiti Lake which has sections there were iced over. The kayak team that searched from the lake to the river and from the river to the lake were met by an ice dam, which is chunks of the frozen river moving into the lake and blocks the passage from the river to the mouth of the lake.
Could he have slipped and fell? Once again that is possible. We just don't know. What I do know is that the treasure hunters are one heck of a team and if I ever go missing I want them to search for me! And they said they hope I search for them! This is what I refer to as Teamwork.
I learned a shocking fact today, missing person flyers are no longer used and social media is the way to go. Really? Orlando never received that memo! On storefronts, trees, utility poles, car windows...we use them and chances on we will never stop. They are very useful! Not everyone has access to social media. Especially campers down in the Rio Grande. There is a forest nearby, there are trees, there must be utility poles nearby. Randy has no ID. It seems to me that the sensible thing to do is use missing person flyers.
Quote of the Day: I fear the day when the technology overlaps with our humanity. The world will only have a generation of idiots. - Einstein
Campers that were spotted south of the Rio Grande...
Keep your assumptions off the local news, Tom!
- Forrest Fenn joins search for missing treasure hunter near Santa Fe | KOB.com
Plenty of people have searched for Forrest Fenn's infamous hidden treasure over the years. But it was Fenn doing the searching Thursday afternoon for a Colorado man who went missing trying to find the treasure near Santa Fe.
Carissa pleading for help to the campers that were spotted near the river...
- Treasure hunter from Colorado vanishes while looking for gold in New Mexico | FOX31 Denver
BROOMFIELD, Colo. -- A treasure hunter is now the one being hunted. In early January Randy Bilyeu set out on his search for a hidden treasure he believes is buried near Santa Fe, New Mexico. His raft, dog and car have all been found, but still no sig
Jan 22 - I found out today that Randy's hiking boots were in his car. That is not good news! Hopefully he had another pair with him, but while the raft was small and Randy was tall he could only fit so many extras with him. But, supposedly there was enough room for him, Leo and a backpack.
Today the search continues with volunteer treasure hunters. Drones and ATV's were used. Our support team, those who cannot be on the ground searching, but are on social media, send prayers that searchers are safe and there are no injuries or missing person reports!
Last night's local news in Santa Fe had an interview with the helicopter pilot who went searching with FF. According to Tom...he said Randy drowned! How rude! Who says that on local news? That was unprofessional and tacky of KOB to allow Tom the chopper pilot to predict Randy's possible demise on the news while Randy's sister and nephew were in town and watching the segment! Think before you speak and before you release a sensitive segment such as that.
Carissa, our oldest daughter did contact one news station to request their help in having the camper's photo on the news...Fox did a segment, yet they "forgot" to show the photo of the campers! Ugh! Carissa did very well. I am extremely proud of my daughters and their strength. Another station called her shortly after, I am unsure of the other news outlet at this time.
The search didn't turn out the way we had hoped. But tomorrow is another day. We got this! Once again thank you to the volunteer searchers for their dedication in the search for Randy. You are very much appreciated!
I did learn that the SFPD did post one Missing Persons Flyer on Buckman Rd. Just one. Resources must be tight.
Detective on the case was not in the office today. And it's Friday. Another 3 day weekend possibly?
The Santa Fe National Forest Supervisor's Office did share a post (as shown above) and photos of when Randy was visiting there on December 24th. Someone there has a good memory! They remembered the conversation and Randy!
Did he commit suicide? No, he did not. We strongly believe that is not a possibility.
WARNING: The death hoaxes have begun. There are some sick people in this world. Proceed with caution. Until you hear from the family, there is still hope that Randy will be found.
January 23 - I believe Randy has found the treasure. If there really is any treasure. Or maybe we have been hunting for Randy for so long that I have lost my mind. Who knows? I surely don't. This search for the missing treasure searcher has been quite a mystery. The police and SAR have no more clues. They searched the areas that they thought he "should" be due to the location of the raft and Leo. They searched the river by foot and Lake Cochiti by air, three times. Where the heck is Randy?
Yesterday the volunteer searchers found via their drone pilot photos, a small piece of blue fabric wedged in some brush, possibly a piece of his backpack? I didn't think so since it was a darker blue. But there was a ray of hope! Many hunters were hopeful! Heck, we were all hopeful! But that tip was a dead end.
I did delegate who in our family should be in contact with who. We have all the bases covered. We are NOT giving up until we find Randy. We are a family on a mission who will hunt down the hunter until we are hunted out and then we will hunt some more. That is how we roll.
Could Randy be at Frijoles Canyon? This is a very dangerous area! Especially since the fires there in 2011. I reached out to SFPD, but as you know it's the weekend. I reached out to NMSAR, but since it's the west side of the river due to "protocol" they can not search there. State vs Federal. Ugh! It doesn't matter that a person's life is at stake...yes, a person who should not have ventured in a dangerous area, but who the heck are we to judge! Supposedly the Bandelier Rangers did search this canyon in the beginning of the search. NMSAR did mention to me on the 18th, when I asked for possible coordinates, that the volunteer searchers could search it also. WITH CAUTION! Regardless...the volunteer searchers are on the mission! They won't back down!
If only SFPD searched Randy's car sooner. If only his friend had contacted me sooner. If only Randy told his family his plans instead of his friends. If only Randy waited until Spring! So many "if onlys."
Our family is overwhelmed with all the love, support and help from strangers around the country who have reached out to offer assistance. If only Randy knew how much his disappearance has affected so many kindred spirits who want nothing more than for him to suddenly appear with a beaming smile as wide as the Rio Grande proudly proclaiming that he found that damn treasure. If only we really knew if that treasure truly existed.
January 24th - We arranged for a searcher named Dave to use his drone to video areas of the Frijoles Canyon.
Unfortunately, Dave did try but he was told NO DRONES allowed by a Bandelier National Park, Law Enforcement Ranger. The searchers cannot fly over their airspace even from the east side.
My daughter spoke with the ranger: The ranger said they did a thorough and extensive search and they found footprints that could "possibly" be Randy's but they "possibly" looked like they came in and went out. He could have parked the raft there, but they saw no evidence of raft drag marks, but the water could have washed away any evidence of raft or footprints since this agency didn't search the area until 10 days after Randy arrived, just like SFPD and NMSAR. If they receive any more evidence of him being there then they will search it again. It is possible that he parked his raft on the west side, searched the area for what he was looking for, got back in the raft and headed to the east side with Leo. So now we are back at the east side. Wow...Randy's disappearance is a vicious circle.
We are dealing with so many obstacles. State vs Federal. City Police vs State Police! Why can't everyone just work together as a team and find Randy! Teamwork, people, Teamwork!
My heart aches for my daughters and granddaughters. They are so confused, so sad, so upset. They didn't ask for their lives to be turned upside down due to a choice made by their father. But it is a lesson learned. My girls are strong, they will prevail. I am so extremely proud of them.
I am thankful for my friends who are helping me along the way. They were there for me when my husband passed away from cancer 6 months ago and they are here once again for me, while I help search for my ex-husband. I, for one, am done with husbands.
Kathy, Randy's older sister lost her husband suddenly in September. Randy and Kathy's mother passed away one year ago...so much sadness happened amongst us within one year. Our family could all use some heartwarming, not more heartbreaking news. My granddaughters cannot lose two grandpa's within 6 months.
January 25 - Message from Randy's previous roommate...
Please know that Randy is in my prayers.
Randy was a roommate for a short period and a very nice guy. So sad that the authorities could not do their jobs Linda, so glad that you have taken the initiative!
Randy once told me that we thought the treasure was behind a waterfall. I do not know if this will help in finding him... I can only hope! ~Patrick
January 25 - SFPD is still not releasing the car and contents since this case is still under investigation. It's not a criminal case "yet," still a missing person's case.
Sadly, Frijoles Canyon will not be searched again. I understand it's a dangerous area, but the family has right to be bummed because if he is there we might never know. They are sticking to the report from the Bandelier Rangers that footprints were discovered going in and out and heading south, SFPD does not have photos or evidence of this, "yet."
While searching Google today for an unrelated story, I came upon many stories about hikers that have gone missing in New Mexico. So many have gone missing and so many were rescued. What impressed me was hearing the stories as told by the New Mexico Search and Rescue team members. I am a big advocate of teamwork, but these men and women take teamwork to a whole new level. I have a newfound respect for search and rescue workers. Their dedication to saving lives goes unrecognized to those who never had to use their resources, hopefully you never will, but if you ever should, you will also be amazed.
Please take a moment to read about another hiker missing in NM
- Search goes statewide for missing hiker
Family and friends are asking for help finding an experienced hiker, who has been missing for two months.
Maybe it's time to hunt for the treasure to find the treasure hunter!
January 26 - When I began this blog I never imagined I would still be updating it for this long. Possibly I'm gullible? No. Optimistic? Yes! I believed that surely by now Randy would have been found. In one way or another. I do realize from the start we encountered a few obstacles. Such as not reporting him missing until 10 days after his last contact with anyone. Also the many hiccups that occurred with the investigation from the start and still encounter hiccups along the way.
If anything positive comes out of this hot mess I hope it's that many people learned a lesson and the next time they will do their best to act quicker.
I continue to try have missing person flyers posted around the area, but social media is the way to go. Yet, I am still baffled how a poacher or camper on the Rio would have internet service. So, I have begun to reach out to area businesses and newspapers to ask them if they could post this blog on their Facebook page and tweet it on Twitter. Possibly place a link on their Instagram or share on Pinterest. Whatever anyone could do to help spread the word in the Santa Fe area will be greatly appreciated. Just copy the link, search for businesses in the area and share away. So many people have offered to help me and I am so grateful. Our family is so thankful.
Carissa had an interview with Inside Edition today. The show will air tomorrow. Stay tuned!
Since we all have scenarios running through our minds, I decided to share one. While we are all baffled as to where Randy is, we are more baffled as to how Leo was still there by the raft. How could that be? Randy would never, ever leave Leo! Well just suppose that Leo had run off to explore something or chase a rabbit, he's a dog, he is adventurous too! Leo and Randy separated before, but they always found each other. They are independent and stubborn males.
Perhaps these two free spirits had a spat of some sort and needed some cooling off time? Anyway...Randy FOUND the treasure (if it exists) he then went to find Leo to hightail it outta there! How? I do not know, I tried and tried to think like Randy, but then my head begins to hurt and I must snap myself out of it. Anyway, Randy sadly assuming Leo might have drowned because he cannot find him and only has seconds to decide what to do next...leaves. How? Once again, don't know. But, it's a bittersweet time for Randy. So, in a nutshell, only one person knows where the damn treasure is and if Randy could have possibly found it which would help support this theory. The End.
The end of that theory, but not this one. Frijoles Canyon - Upper and lower Falls...needs to be accurately checked again. Do NOT tell me that a Ranger found footprints in and out of that area and yet there are no photos in the possession of SFPD to back that theory up.
UPDATE: I spoke with NMSAR. Frijoles Canyon was checked on Sunday, the following day after he received my email with the photo/text above. Upper and lower falls. Unfortunately they did not find Randy. But we so appreciate NMSAR for searching. The waterfalls are not running at this time, they are dry. Also if the "treasure" was there, it would be 12-15 feet under mud, so I strongly advise against searching there.
The East Rim where the raft was located was also checked multiple times, chances are slim to none that Randy tried to climb out.
Information that I had, but forgot, then remembered again. When a treasure hunter has a solve, they email or snail mail it to Forrest Fenn. So before each search Forrest Fenn basically knows where a searcher is searching, makes me wonder if Randy even sent his solve for this search...only one person knows that. Will he tell the rest of us the answer to that very important question?
We will not give up!
22 Days Missing...
January 27 - The search continues. A new searcher contacted me last night via email. I placed him in good hands. Bob M really seems to know the area and is one determined man! I ask for prayers and positive thoughts for all the searchers who are taking the time to help find Randy.
I shared this blog with Reddit, Los Alamos Newspaper shared it on their Facebook, my team at HubPages are seeking out fellow writers in Santa Fe...whether you are near or far, if you have a few minutes to find a connection to a Santa Fe business or community that is willing to share this blog I would greatly appreciate your help! If you have friends or family in the area, please share!
We got this! #TeamRandyBilyeu
1-28 Inside Edition episode: Lily, our 3 yr old granddaughter was excited to see her pop-pop on TV, poor girl has no idea.
24 Days Missing
January 28 - Seriously? 24 days missing? 2 weeks since I reported him missing? How in the world has Randy not been found yet? No one just drops off the face of the earth! Unless they want to, which is not true in this case. There is absolutely no reason Randy would want to or need to vanish. He led a solitary life, he loved his family and friends. He often spoke or texted with them. He wasn't wanted by the law. He didn't have money problems.
His apartment lease is up at the end of February. He had talked about moving back to Florida and about moving to Santa Fe. He wasn't sure yet, but one thing his family is sure of is that he did not escape the reality of his life. Actually, who hasn't thought about escaping their life and starting a new one? Heck, I have! For about 5 minutes, then it passes.
On the flip side was foul play involved? That is a possibility. There are NO impossibilities in the Search for Randy Bilyeu. Yet, the police still consider this a missing person's case. They could be correct, yet they could be wrong. Yet the raft, vehicle and oars have all be tampered with and any evidence of foul play is null and void. I suggested fingerprinting these items a couple of weeks ago, but was told...not for a missing case. OK, I sure hope they are correct and foul play never gets placed on the table.
I heard about a treasure hunter from Texas who went missing in 2013, further upstream from where Randy was, on the west bank. Luckily, she was rescued after only one night because she was very close to her trail and had cell service. If you are reading this...please contact me! (Update: Channon and I did speak, more to follow below.)
Volunteers continue to help in the Search for Randy, but hope is beginning to diminish. Yet, the searchers do not want to give up! No one wants to give up! NMSAR doesn't want to give up and they haven't, they just need "something to work with!" If you have anything to offer them, please do so. Robert.Rodgers@state.nm.us
Yes, we all hoped and prayed for a happy ending. That moment when Randy walked out of the forest and was stunned when he saw a missing person's poster with his name and face on it...only to say, "can't a man just go camping without his ex-wife sending a search party for him!" If only. But that is not the case here. We never assumed it was. But, I always look for the positive in a situation, no matter how somber it is.
Folks, today I leave you with...our family's gratitude for all your support. No matter where you are your prayers, positive thoughts, tips, advice, etc...are heartwarming. We appreciate you!
Quote of the Day: "Never Give Up!"
Search Information - Courtesy of John P.
There are a finite number of ways out of the canyon: east bank, west bank, and downstream. West Bank and downstream start off with a check mark against them since the raft was on the east bank. The river has been searched by boat and air from Buckman to the ice at Cochiti. This lowers the downstream odds further still. SAR searched the main west bank from Buckman to Frijoles. Nora searched Ancho on foot. I searched it by air. There are other west bank trails to civilization: Red Dot and Blue Dot trails which have likely been hiked by locals since then. They are lower probability in any event because he'd have had to walk past Ancho where he'd already hiked to in order to get to them. Of course the east bank location of the boat is a mark against the west bank to begin with. That leaves the east bank. There are three east bank routes: (1)east bank on the river, (2)rim to Buckman by road, (3)rim to Buckman cross country.
If he planned on either 2 or 3 I don't think he made it to the rim. There is the Leo problem for one thing. I don't know why Leo would return to the raft from the rim. There is water on the rim. It is becoming increasingly unlikely that he is in between the rim and raft as a large number of people have scrambled on those slopes, including SAR. I think I'd have done the trail we used Saturday (and then (3)) but Bob Moore who knows that place like the back of his hand said (1) would have been his chosen route because once you clear the dangerous boulder hopping stuff between Frijoles and the top of Ancho rapid it is an easy walk to the car. The boulder-hopping section has been searched from the river and air but NOT from the ground. I keep a sort of thermal mental probability map if the search. Given the facts, (1) is burning hot now. (1) is dangerous not because it requires technical rock climbing ability but because it is brutal rugged terrain and is very easy to get hurt in*. If he started on (1) and was injured early Leo would likely have had to return to the river because there would be little/no water on the rock. He could easily have had a fall that ended up with Leo below him and unable to reach him. (1) would be very slow going and Randy would likely have been at least a little impatient. Impatience kills.
*I think the canyon Sam and I went into Saturday is similar. At one point I fell 3' into the arroyo at the bottom of the canyon because the rock I was standing flat-footed on decided to crumble. I caught my fall with my bad hand but was otherwise uninjured. Could just as easily have broken a leg.
SAR searched most of the east bank except for (1) from the ground.
You can put hiking Frijoles, a "big mistake" in Randy's words as an additional very unlikely west bank route.
January 29 - Randy's story went national via Associated Press and his missing case was mentioned on NBC, CBS and ABC. He also went national on Inside Edition, but how many people actually watch that show? Yet, we are grateful for any media attention that helps us to find Randy.
I was notified today that there were security cameras in the area that Randy had his car parked. Did the detective check the video of those cameras? We have no idea, she never mentioned it. We tried to contact her, but she is "out of the office" no surprise there, since it is Friday. This missing case just might go down in the books as the most dysfunctional case ever. I sure hope that someone, somewhere learned something and the next missing person will have a better shot at being found within a reasonable amount of time.
I'm not feeling the teamwork much. There are way too many cooks in this missing person's kitchen. We have treasure hunters, private searchers and SAR. Yet, it seems they are not working together.
Our goal is to find Randy! Not for recognition from FF, not to hopefully find the "supposed" treasure. Randy is the treasure! Why can't we all get on the same page and realize that! We are on the earth to help one another...so please do your part and work together to help find the treasure that we are all seeking. Share your clues, tips, solves, coordinates with each other. It's all about TEAMWORK.
We do have a possible search area. We might find Randy, we might not. We can only hope. We can also pray for the safety of the men and women of the rescue teams. They are doing their best to find Randy. We can also thank the many men and women who work from behind the scene by supplying maps, charts, phone numbers, links, ideas...they are also an integral part of the search. Godspeed!
January 30 - Day 25 since Randy pushed off on the raft. Reported missing 16 days ago, but feels like months. 21 days until Randy's 55th birthday. Many hearts that ache.
On Friday we discovered that there was a photo taken from a drone. The image was blurry but resembled a body that was sprawled out on the ground, which would have occurred due to a fall from a high cliff. Very eerie. That area was searched yesterday and no body was found. Talk about a stressful 24 hours!
January 31 - Drama has entered the building! Tensions are building. Frustration is rampant. Egos are bruised. Arguments are erupting. And this is just on social media. Wow!
Our family just might need therapy soon. We are now accepting referrals.
I contacted the FBI for assistance. Randy's missing person's case does not qualify for federal help unless the agency is contacted by the detective in charge. Good luck with that one! We can't even get her to contact us!
Well, I just found out that the media blitz isn't over yet. Someone seems to thrive in the spotlight. With a magazine interview. Really? Who can tell me how a magazine interview will help find Randy? The focus should be on the father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend who is missing....not another interview. If it wasn't for the "treasure" Randy wouldn't be missing. Our granddaughters are traumatized! Our daughters are barely getting by. Randy's sister is numb. His nephew who just lost his father is depressed. I am exhausted. Mentally and physically. How could an interview with a magazine help find Randy? I am beyond baffled. There is something so wrong with this missing persons case. This is all I can say now, but I am keeping notes...this is far from being over.
February 1 - A new month is upon us. Randy is still missing. Our hearts continue to ache. Our minds continue to be baffled. We have so much support from so many amazing people. Yesterday, a young man from Santa Fe took the time to hang flyers in the surrounding area. Another guy from Santa Fe shared video of the terrain along with music, which was refreshing, because as we know music is good for the soul. Drone videos from the search on Saturday was watched by many, many eyes, trying our best to find any sign of Randy.
I have selected a dream team that I could only wish I had to search for Randy. Olivia Benson from Law & Order, the team of Criminal Minds and Walt from Longmire. If only...at least he would have been found in under one hour!
The power of positive thinking is truly unbelievable. There is no room in my mind for negative thoughts. I am a realist and I do have faith in gut feelings. Everything does happen for a reason. We might never know the reason, but there is one. Or two. I believe there is so much more to Randy's disappearance than just slipping in a river and drowning. Others might beg to differ, which is fine. I have been wrong before and I will be fine if I am wrong again. Time will tell...
Facts from a Searcher Who Was At The Raft Location Today...
"We documented the approach to the raft, initial inspection of the raft and area around the raft as best as possible with my cameras. I did check the area under the raft carefully before moving it, but it was too difficult to video that part due to the prickly vegetation making gloves a necessity when bending down to see under the raft and bad lighting. Here's a quick list of observations:"
- There is no sign of blood on the raft but the raft was significantly damp on both sides - which almost certainly rules out useable fingerprints in my opinion.
- The prickly vegetation makes it unlikely the raft itself was set up as a shelter for Leo but the trees behind the raft create a space almost like a thatch hut and the raft could have been placed to help with additional insulation. The large rock makes a very good windbreak.
- The foot air pump is functional.
- One oar is snapped completely in half and we did not see the broken missing section.
- The second oar was bent but still usable.
- The oar locks are intact and did not appear damaged.
- The raft had deflated significantly and one valve was completely open.
- The bottom tear was confirmed plus two small round holes.
_ There were no clear footprints in the area that were of an age to fit.
-- The partially inflated raft took 5 minutes to inflate.
- But using the electric air pump we were able to get most of the of the chambers to inflate.
- We recovered both oars but had to leave the raft and pump due to lack of time.
No one was able to return on Sunday to see if the raft remained inflated or how much air it had lost. But we do appreciate the thoughtful idea and the details of the search.
The searchers exited to the east rim via a trail...A TRAIL? Then why the heck didn't Randy take that trail? It was a one hour hike up to the east rim through very thick vegetation, but previous searchers had marked off the trail for other searchers to be able to use it. Possibly Randy had known about the trail but it was too dark when he attempted to get back to his car? The unnamed trail is not visible via Google Earth, possibly he didn't know the trail existed.
Does Teamwork Exist Among SF Jurisdictions?
Just to give you an idea of what we are dealing with in our search for Randy. First of all, you are aware that the detective in charge of this case hasn't been up to par. Our questions rarely get answered, which is just one of the reasons I needed to start a Facebook group, for HELP with answers to our questions!
We are dealing with the following agencies in Randy's Missing Persons case:
- The Santa Fe PD who the case is assigned to (Reminder..never, ever go missing in Santa Fe, you must step away from their county line and then proceed)
- New Mexico State Police
- SAR (Search and Rescue) Has used 81 Volunteers and 682 Hours
- There's a sheriff in town? For real? We haven't heard anything from him.
- Bandelier Rangers
- Cochiti Pueblo Tribal Police
- Broomfield Police Dept (where Randy had his apartment)
- US Forest Service
- New Mexico Dive Team
Today was a snow day in Santa Fe, so there was no searching. The searchers deserve the rest, but the snow didn't stop them from researching drone videos and creating accurate search areas so that when they are able to once again put their boots on the ground, they will not be searching over areas that were already searched and therefore wasting time.
According to snippet in the news media it was said with all certainty that Randy was searching West to Southwest of the area, when the clue is actually North to Northwest. But, after much research via an expert Randy was actually searching North to Northwest of Santa Fe. And that, is a fact! Randy might have went down the river on a raft in the winter because he had a damn good reason to do so.
February 2 - I am beginning to think we might require the resources of NM SAR to search for the detective in charge of this case! No one has heard from her since last week. Could she be missing also? Could two people have dropped off the face of the earth?
As we know, it does seem like Randy did drop off the face of the earth because by the evidence we have he was only planning a day trip. On the other hand, we are aware that the detective disappeared by choice. Possibly she is avoiding us? Maybe she doesn't want to solve this case? Perhaps she is considering criminal activity and isn't sharing with us? We have NO idea! Just in case, I have placed NM SAR on speed dial just in case I need to report another missing person.
As usual I arose to a few emails. One email touched my heart. She lives in the vicinity of where Randy vanished. Near the west side of the canyon. Supposedly, if Randy had happened to drown, he would have possibly floated by her home. This kind woman uses binoculars to search in hopes of bringing closure to this case. Bless her heart!
I received another email about a dog whisperer. Interesting. I just might look into that. If only dogs could talk. Yes, I say that often. "Supposedly" Leo is the last one who saw Randy...or was he? Was someone else there? We do NOT know. Am I suggesting foul play once again? Heck yeah! Why? Because we do NOT know. Will we ever give up? Nope.
I wish I had the capability to give up, but I do not. I was an unstoppable machine when my husband, Dave was fighting cancer. I left no stone unturned. I reached out to every resource available and beyond. That man wished to live, I wanted to grant him that wish and together we succeeded. In 2012 he was given 3-6 months when the cancer had spread to his brain, this was with or without radiation treatment. He was terrified, as was I. But, nonetheless he lived for another 2 years and had good quality of life until the cancer spread to his liver.
So how does my story with Dave help us find Randy? The answer is simple! Never give up until you have exhausted every possible avenue and resource! Never leave any stone, or in this case log, unturned. Adhere to your gut instincts and do not back down. Ask questions, there are NO stupid questions! Use your common sense. Most importantly THINK POSITIVE and TEAMWORK are both crucial in the search for Randy. Yes, I do repeat myself at times, but you must remember that not everyone hears me the first time. People get off track, their minds wander and get distracted. This is why I must repeat what is important.
- We have just one job, to find Randy
- Positive Thinking is crucial
- Teamwork is mandatory
Our family is so thankful for our Facebook group...they exemplify the good in the hearts of people. They share information with each other. They explore, search, advice, cheer each other on and most importantly, they work as a TEAM. All optimistic minds are welcome to join "Search For Randy Bilyeu."
There will be no searching today as mother nature is covering the search area with more snow.
Mirror (Website of the Year?) UK
Rant: The Mirror owes me an apology. How dare them say that I waited 10 days to report Randy missing! Sure, I have done some dumb things in my life, but to wait 10 days before reporting someone missing...never!
My response to them;
I did NOT wait 10 days to report Randy missing and I will not take the blame for it. I reported him missing when his "best friend" notified me that he was missing after waiting for 10 days. His "best friend" that was "supposedly" one of the only two people that Randy informed of his venture. If a member of Randy's family had known we would have reported him missing the next day. We would not have waited for 10 days "assuming" that he must have "drowned" before contacting the family. Get your facts straight.
How about Randy's grandchildren who are traumatized from this nightmare? His daughters that have been living through this nightmare? Oh, they don't sell newspapers so who cares...WE DO.
Update: Apology was never received. But it's all good. We know the truth.
February 3 - It's been 5 days since I requested assistance from the "detective" on the case. She has yet to respond to emails or voicemails from Kathy, Michelle, Carissa or I.
So, I took it upon myself to reach out to the water department to hopefully assist us with video footage from the security cameras that were near Randy's car. Chances are slim that the videos captured him driving his car or pushing off on the raft, but it NEVER hurts to ask. The reason I say chances are slim is because the cameras are there to protect the pump house compound, not to view the outer perimeters, so I have been told. I started with an email...fingers crossed!
Found out a couple of days ago that there is a sheriff in town and why hasn't the family been contacted by the sheriff's department. I dunno. Well, today I delegated Randy's sister to call the sheriff and they were just as surprised as we were that they did not have a case file! Are you kidding me? This isn't Mayberry folks, it's Santa Fe!
And the mystery of the security cameras in the parking area have been answered...not the answer we had hoped for, but now at least we know.
Our security cameras only have a live feed. We are not currently equipped with a recording system for these cameras. I did ask the BDD operations staff if they might have seen anything from that date, but no one remembers anything. We all hope that Mr. Bilyeu turns up safely soon.
Fact: The SFPD should have turned Randy's missing person case over to the Sheriff from Day One. They were not equipped to handle a missing person's case of this magnitude. Major fail on their part. Also major fail on my part, I am the one who called them to begin with since that is who the Broomfield Police in Colorado directed me to. We live and learn.
The Raft area 2.4.16
February 4 - I had a consult with our family attorney. Due to the way this case is being handled he suggested it was time to acquire the services in the Santa Fe area. So, if you are or know of a lawyer who has worked along with the police in a missing case before, please let us know. Pro bono would be greatly appreciated. Of course the PR is a bonus for them.
I filed a missing person's report with Texas Equusearch. I then spoke with them. He asked me questions. I answered. Back and forth. Question after question. They were impressed with all the searching that has been done so far. He asked me what the police think happened. I said, "no comment" since they never told us what they think. He asked what SAR thought happened, I said, "he's in the water." He had already drawn that conclusion. They focus on search and rescue, not search and recovery. While he was very helpful, he doesn't think they could assist in our circumstances. But, I gave it my best shot!
I also reached out to David Paulides who also hunts for treasure. Except his treasure is finding missing people. Haven't heard back from him yet.
I had a lengthy and informative discussion with a reliable source regarding Leo. He is doing well and thriving. Yet, he misses his daddy. Leo is a sniffer, he sniffs everything and everywhere, he is not a search dog. When he is told to STAY, he stays, but then follows. Leo stayed at the raft because that is where he was told to STAY and if he could have followed Randy he would have, but he obviously couldn't. So he did STAY by the raft and he waited. If he did get wet at any time he would not have survived that long wait of 11 days. That is a fact. Leo might not be a qualified search dog, but he sure is a survivor. This got me thinking about my dog, who also follows me wherever I go and sniffs everything, everywhere. I guarantee if I went missing, she could not find me. She would be clueless, she is not trained.
The family has come to the conclusion, which wasn't an easy one, but after many discussions with professionals that Leo will not be of use to search for his daddy.
Today after I picked my granddaughters up from school, we were walking through a trail where my oldest granddaughter (9 yrs old) spotted a blue stone and her expression was priceless. My youngest granddaughter (3 yrs old) was elated. They both yelled, "We found the treasure!" Oh my gosh. No. Just no.
I did more research today, as I do every day....I leave no log unturned. Not just me, but I have delegated areas of interest to many of my good friends and family members. We have had assistance from around the country! Randy isn't just a treasure hunter who went missing...he is a hero to many and a fool to some, but I will emphasize once again that Randy had a GOOD reason for doing what he did. There are no ifs, ands or buts. We will find out that reason. One day. Hopefully soon because it's time to find Randy and end the searching. This is out of control.
We just seem to keep coming back to the fact that Randy is in the water. Where else could he possibly be - so I thought, until I received an email late last night with a possible tip for foul play...ARE YOU KIDDING? And once again we start from scratch. Once again IF ONLY we had Randy's laptop this case might have been solved by now. But, NO, the DA still has possession and it is most likely collecting dust on a shelf somewhere.
Today I found out that the reason the SFPD has Randy's case is because Randy stayed at the Motel 6. Really, Randy? You couldn't have stayed at a motel that was in the jurisdiction of the Sheriff's or State Police? Anyway, I was speechless, for one second. So, because of where he spent ONE NIGHT his case had landed on the desk of a detective who I am assuming wrote him off as "in the water" from day one and gave up. Why am I assuming this? Because he still hasn't been found and the fact that we have to be forceful to get tasks completed. OK, I understand that there are other cases that need to be investigated, but a simple yes or no answer to emails would be appreciated.
Quote of the Day: "Never assume...you make an ass out of you and me!"
February 5 - One month ago today, Randy went rafting on the river in search of a treasure chest. Three weeks since the official search began. We will find him, we are not giving up! Whether he is alive or dead. In the water or on the ground, we will find him. This in no way implies that the family expects searchers to continue to search and endanger their lives! While we do appreciate all the assistance of the volunteer searchers, we do understand that they have lives also, they must move on. We will not hold this against them in any way, shape or form! We will not be discouraged or disappointed. We will always be thankful for the time and energy they spent on helping to find Randy. The family commends their heroic endurance and we salute them.
Randy might be found by a hiker, hunter or camper one day. He might be found by a fisherman. He could possibly be found by the community of White Rock who use binoculars to view the river with hopes of finding the man who has become one of their own. He might be spotted by members of the Pueblo Tribe who, twice a day, stop to view the Lake Cochiti for a floater. For all we know Randy could have encountered foul play and not be in the area at all...we just DO NOT KNOW. But, as of yesterday, I was leaning towards the river, until that damn email arrived in my inbox.
Quote of the Day - "Let the authorities take care of things professionally." Blind faith.
Shed on East Riverbank 2.7.16
February 6 - As I write this many volunteer searchers are exploring the area of the Rio Grande for Randy. They went equipped with motivation, determination and and mostly dedication. These men and women are on a mission with one purpose...to find a man who one month ago supposedly set sail on a frigid river with a goal that supposedly only he knew, only to fall off the face of the earth.
If only Randy knew how many lives have been affected since he vanished.
We are making progress with the SFPD! Teamwork at its finest. The Captain has been put on alert. He was somewhat familiar with the early details of the case. That was all. But we did get some questions answered. He said that retrieving his car and contents should not be a problem, until he was told the DA had the items. How long does it take the DA to release the items in a missing person case? It varies by case. Hopefully if they stick to their word we will no longer have a need for an attorney.
The police do NOT suspect foul play. But if a lead comes their way they will pursue it. And the same applies with NMSP. The case is not closed. Law enforcement along with SAR just need something to work with. So many are trying their best to supply what they need, but so far, we don't have anything.
Which brings us back to the possible chance that Randy is in the water. Whether the river or the lake. It's unfair to the family and searchers to "assume" that Randy is in the water and just throw in the towel. We are expected to wait until spring? Would they wait until spring if it was their family member? I just read last night that a man had drowned in the river and didn't resurface for 6 years!! In reality, yes, the water is frigid and ice is an issue. We DO NOT want to endanger any lives. If our only choice is to wait until spring, then we wait until spring. Except in the meanwhile, volunteer searchers who are off the clock continue to place their heart and soul into finding Randy. While those on the clock do not.
We continue to be extremely thankful and pray for their safety along with sending them positive thoughts. I wish there was more we could do. If you could think of anything please let us know...
I continue to call bogus on the foul play tip. I repeat: I do not have time or patience for drama. Please do not make your issues, my issues. Our mission is to find Randy...that is all.
Update: Randy was not found today. There are quite a few searchers who are disheartened but not ready to give up. If they did decide to give up, the family would support their decision.
Drone photos and videos were taken by Dave the Drone Guy.
I was contacted by two drone operators today. One out of California and one out of Texas. Not sure yet if they could help us due to regulations, jurisdictions etc...but I did find out today the drones are not allowed over the lake. The canyons cannot be photographed due to possible terrorism, It's a tribal/jurisdiction/protocol thing.
February 7 - Today is Superbowl Sunday. Randy's final voicemail which was on Sunday, January 3rd, he mentioned that he was looking forward to watching football. He would be rooting for the Denver Broncos.
The drone photos and video from yesterday continue to be analyzed. We hope to find some sign of Randy or anything that could point us in the direction of our missing person.
In the words of Randy, "It must be a sign!"
I was contacted this evening by a volunteer searcher. We created a group of searchers with a solid plan. All systems are a go. Positive thoughts are requested. We got this!
My favorite quote of the day ... "I keep hoping Randy will show up in Las Vegas with amnesia."
February 8 - A new week is upon us. We continue to search for Randy. We won't give up until he is found. No matter where he is. We appreciate all the assistance we have received so far. We are thankful for the searchers who continue to reach out to us and are new to the search. The treasure hunters have taken a hiatus, we no longer hear from them. I guess they went back to searching for their own treasure.
As long as we continue to spread the word about our missing person, people will find this blog and want to help because there are so many wonderful people in this world.
Whatever your part is in Team Randy's mission know that you are appreciated and no deed is too small. Every single thing you do makes a difference. Thank you!
Once again the SFPD has disappointed the family. We had hope, after contacting the captain on Friday and he promised to answer our list of questions on Monday, but he never did. Voicemails and emails left for the detective, sergeant and captain have gone unanswered. I never in my life have encountered so much dysfunction. Luckily, I rarely in my life had to deal with law enforcement. But I do watch Blue Bloods and the Reagan family would find this police behavior unacceptable. If only Frank Reagan was the Chief of Police on this case.
Quote of the day: "I have NEVER in all my years witnessed such an outpouring of help for a missing person from non-relations!"
February 9 - We continue to be ignored by the SFPD. Voicemails and emails go unanswered. We have wasted enough time. We now proceed to the next game plan.
My goal today is to reach out via media outlets to seek out new searchers. While we appreciate all that the current searchers have done, I sense fatigue which is not surprising. Like I mentioned previously, therapy might be on tap for more than just the family.
We aren't making progress. It feels like we are just going in circles and Randy isn't within the perimeters. Fresh eyes and a fresh outlook just might be what we need.
Yet we were told again today...Randy is in the river. Since I always root for the underdog and bet against the odds, I can't just accept that "the river" as an answer...I need proof. Proof? Yes, like a body!
Today was a game of hurry up and wait. I reached out to many. I made progress and then failed a few times. But as a team, we continue to move forward. Never give up!
Quote of the Day ... "Don't be an ass."
February 10 - You would think that as the days go by the search for Randy would get easier. Well, that would be incorrect thinking.
The search is just as frustrating as it was when it began on January 14th. We continue to have hiccups, roadblocks and miscommunication.
Quote of the day; "Do not allow this hot mess to defeat you!"
Requesting positive thoughts for a successful day!
Update: A perfect example of how things could change from one day to another. Your positive thoughts must be working because our family had a productive day. Kathy and Michelle spoke with the detective. We finally received some answers. We received the list of contents in the car. We received the missing person's report. We received the cell phone information.
NMSP along with SAR conducted a helicopter search of the river. They inspected some suspicious areas, but didn't find Randy. Yet, they tried their best!
I'm preparing a press release and my contact with the associated press pleasantly agreed to take it print! My objective is to keep Randy fresh in the minds of others. Also to reach out to more volunteer searchers who could help us find Randy.
I, along with six members of my Facebook group successfully planned a drone search today of areas of importance. They took over 300 photos during their search. Outstanding!
Needless to say, today was a stressful day, but it was worth every second, because today got us all one step closer to finding Randy.
February 11 - Another active day for Team Randy Bilyeu. I, along with the help of a very supportive friend issued a press release to the associated press. My objective is to have Randy's face and name in the media again. I also hope to reach out to others who have the abilities and capabilities to help us search for Randy.
We heard from the SFPD once again today to answer our questions! That my folks, is a record! Twice in one week, could we finally be making progress?
Tonight I received a gift from someone that I do not know. A person who somehow knows me, yet doesn't know me. A gift that made my heart full. If you are reading this, I thank you for your helpful knowledge that confirms what I thought all along...that Randy was looking exactly where he was led to believe.
Quote Of the Day - "Find your voice and when you do...fill the damn silence."
Associated Press article...
- Flight turns up no new evidence of missing treasure hunter | Albuquerque Journal
SANTA FE, N.M. -- Authorities have yet to uncover any new clues to the whereabouts of a Colorado man who went missing in northern New Mexico while looking for a…
February 12 - My awesome contact with the associated press has once again, come through and went to print with an update on the search for Randy.
Now that the weather is warming up in the area we hope that we could reach out to searchers who have time to help out.
Quote of the Day ... "Teamwork makes the dream work."
February 13 - Another week in the search for Randy has come to a close. We continue to have no leads on what happened to him. We do have many leads on what could have happened to him. but our mindset in on finding him, not creating more theories or scenarios.
I continue to be AMAZED at the the magnitude of people who reach out to us daily. Whether with their prayers, positive thoughts, suggestions, advice, tips, their extra eyes searching the photos and videos for signs of Randy...everything and anything is appreciated by the family.
I did quit a couple of times this week. The frustration and stress was a bit overwhelming and I did throw in the towel. Only to return after an hour. Who am I kidding?? I ain't no quitter. Sure, I did piss off many people during the past month, from just below the governor all the way to the police department, oh well...shit happens! We live and learn. I learned a lesson, I hope they did too.
Quote of the Day ... "Without you this mission will fall apart." I concur.
I will add that if it wasn't for Team Randy this mission would be a failure. My team knows the meaning of Teamwork! We are blessed. We will find Randy as a TEAM.
February 14 - Today is one month since I phoned in the missing person's report. One month since our world was turned upside down. It is difficult at times to comprehend that it has only been such a short time, it feels like much longer.
So much has happened in the past few weeks that my mind can not comprehend all that has transpired. I have learned more about Santa Fe, drone pilots, hiking, searching, the Rio Grande and New Mexico than I ever would have imagined!
Fact: We have yet to reach our goal.
Fact: We are not giving up.
Fact: I have the most amazing teams in place to search for Randy.
People continue to reach out from across the country who want to help in one way or another. I will forever be grateful for their dedication. Whether they are helping with extra eyes to scan photos. Or they are reaching out for others to help. Or they are offering advice. Or they are sending prayers. Everything and anything helps, so please do not feel that you are bothering me...please reach out.
In the past month I have been yelled at, reprimanded, told to slow down, pissed off many people and have been called a gold digger (that one is ironic) and I have dealt with unnecessary drama (and have been called a drama queen). The more I get knocked down, the more I get back up to fight. My brain doesn't know how to quit. It doesn't know how to just stop or slow down until a mission, any mission, is complete. It is who I am. Deal with it!
This past month has been a roller coaster of emotions. Decisions that had to be decided. Choices that had to be chosen. Tears, frustration, anxiety and stress have been rampant. From morning until evening...non-stop. But our motto is, "We got this!"
I have acquired many wonderful new friends. I am thankful that there is more good in this world than bad. Luckily I have encountered many good people with kind hearts who will not give up until Randy is found. They want to know what happened to Randy. They care about him. They care about his family. They want this mystery solved. They want answers too! We all want answers.
We will not accept "Randy is the river, just wait until spring and hopefully he will float up." That is not an acceptable answer.
Today we had a successful drone mission. Successful because the team I sent out returned home safely. We hope the video, once uploaded and viewed gives us more clues as to where Randy might be.
Quote of the Day: If you're walking down the right path and you're willing to keep walking, eventually you'll make progress. - Barack Obama
February 15 - One month ago today the search for Randy had its first boots on the ground. CareFlight conducted an air search for Randy and Leo. For over an hour they flew over the river, lake and surrounding areas. The team of three had just about given up on finding the daring duo when the nurse on board spotted a blue image in the brush on a sandbar, almost immediately she spotted a dog. The nurse on board spotted Leo who was frantically running in circles. The crew were elated that they had found life.
They carefully landed their helicopter on a frozen tributary. The trio of rescuers searched for over an hour. They left no stone unturned. They searched under the raft and to the sides of the raft. Meanwhile Leo stood his ground, protecting his turf. He snarled and growled while he backed away to the raft and tended to favor the right side.
They gave Leo his time to recover from his fright of the scary object that just landed in the supposedly last area that he saw his daddy and that supposedly he had spent the last 11 days, alone. Leo snarled and growled at them. He seemed terrified, but eventually he warmed up to the nurse when she shared a piece of her granola bar with him.
We were told that Leo was never wet. His sweater was never matted. I would never question a woman who makes a statement like that. Would you? If Leo had been wet at any time he would have froze. The raft was deliberately placed upside down. Oars and pumps neatly placed beside it.
That was a bittersweet mission for these earth angels. While they weren't able to find Randy, the trio was able to rescue Leo. We will always be thankful that they were able to spot Leo during their final moments of this search flight.
I salute you, SAR Volunteers
- Lost hikers keep New Mexico search crews busy | KRQE News 13
Albuquerque’s source for local news and live streaming video online. KRQE reports on news, weather, traffic, investigations and sports for New Mexico.
February 16 - One month ago the New Mexico Search and Rescue team put boots on the ground in search of Randy. They searched the perimeters they were given by the police. Then they searched a bit more. Nothing. There weren't any footprints near the raft.
The question in many minds is...Where did Randy go?
Randy checked out of the Motel 6 on January 3rd
He purchased the raft on January 4th
Vehicle was seen at parked location on January 5th
Vehicle was seen again, unmoved and reported to police on January 12th
Raft, Leo and the oars were discovered on January 15th
There is no evidence that anyone had spent the night at the raft location
Human and small canine footprints were located going into and out of Frijoles Canyon on the west side on January 19th. High probability tracks belong to Randy and Leo.
Raft was purposely placed in the location and did not blow there.
Both of the above clues tell us that Randy did not have a problem upriver. Whatever happened to Randy happened to him after he secured Leo and the raft. If he, himself actually did secure Leo and raft. Leave no stone unturned.
81 SAR volunteer searchers, 682 hours of searching and no sign of Randy.
If only this was a case of Where's Waldo and we could just point him out on a page, but alas it's not. Randy's disappearance is a mystery that many continue to try and solve.
Fact: If one of my daughters or granddaughters were missing and assumed in the water, there would not be an ounce of water left in the Rio Grande until my chickie was found. No ifs, ands or buts. Dams would be turned off. I would of course apologize to the residents of Santa Fe for temporarily cutting off their water supply, but I will make sure they had plenty of drinking water beforehand. I'm just saying...be thankful it is my ex-husband who is missing and not one of my girls.
Quote of the Day: "Chase your dreams but always know the road that will lead you home again." - Tim McGraw
February 17 - The drone videos from Sunday have been released. While the footage by our drone pilot, Houston was amazing, there was no sign of Randy. How frustrating. But the video tour of the Rio Grande and surrounding canyons were breathtaking.
I did reach out to a search and rescue volunteer group that use dogs to search the water. While this won't be an easy task, if all parties agree to the mission, it's worth a try.
Today we had a few searchers with boots on the ground. These searchers who live in Santa Fe reached out to the family because they care. Because they want to find Randy. Because they want closure for the family. These searchers are remarkable on their quest to leave no stone unturned.
I receive many requests from total strangers on what they could do from afar to help find Randy. I do delegate jobs to some. To others my request is for positive thoughts for the safety of our dedicated searchers and for the aching hearts of those who care so much. Thank you!
Quote of the Day: "By the time this mission is complete, the drone footage just might document every piece of debris in the area."
February 18 - I have been reaching out to media outlets and they have not been very helpful. You think they would be, since there is supposedly a person who drowned in the river that supplies the drinking water to the city of Santa Fe. Just a random thought that passed through my head...I have many thoughts, I just don't share them all. But, in this case, maybe the media outlets will help me spread the word about Randy!
I continue to be overwhelmed with the outpouring of empathy from caring people around the country. They tell me how badly they want resolution for the family. They want Randy to be found. We all want one thing...to find out what happened to Randy. My heart aches for my daughters, granddaughters, Kathy and Chad. I want so badly to bring them the answer they so desperately deserve.
I continue to learn so much about Santa Fe, NM. I continue to be appreciative of Orlando, Fl. But, the people of Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Taos, Los Alamos and surrounding areas give me the confidence that we will find Randy. One day.
We have a very busy weekend coming up. Hikers. Drones. Travels. And a bittersweet celebration. I will update as each mission is complete.
Just in case you are not in my Facebook group and you are searching for Randy, I posted this message in the group and I will post it here also:
Many of you are searching and the family appreciates your help in searching for Randy. Many of you are also confused as to what to do if you find something suspicious or possibly find Randy. Out of respect for Randy's daughters, sister, nephew, family and friends I ask that you do NOT post that picture in this group. I ask that you email me the pictures or send it via Facebook Messenger. I have the contact numbers and will advise you how to proceed next. Thank you for searching and respecting the family's wishes. email@example.com
Quote of the Day: "I wish I could do so much more for those who are doing so much for us."
February 20 - Yes, I did skip a date, you are not hallucinating if you are reading this blog in chronological order. I have been extremely busy the past few days and while I have been keeping notes, there is only so much that I can share with my updates.
I am pleased to say that the triple drone mission we had yesterday was a success. A success in that the pilots and their spotters are safe. There were no injuries and tons of video was collected. We now patiently wait for the footage to be uploaded and shared for the many eagle eyes to investigate. We also had a few hikers out searching on Friday and Saturday. As of now we didn't find Randy, but we hope the drone footage gives us some clues.
Today is 14 years since my mother passed away and not a day goes by that my heart does not ache for her. I subconsciously spent some time today with my mother, Randy and my late husband Dave...wishing that one of them will help to direct us in the path we need to be looking. Wishful thinking...
I heard back from Sandia Search and Rescue, they will not be supplying us canines to help search the water at this time, due to weather conditions. Oh well, never say never.
Happy 55th Birthday to Randy...
February 21 - Today is a special day, it's Randy's birthday. I had truly hoped he would have been found by now, for the sake of our daughters, granddaughters and Randy's sister...but that's a negative.
Randy's family has a very important and bittersweet mission today, I will update soon. In the meanwhile positive thoughts are appreciated.
We are so thankful for the people of New Mexico who have reached out to us in our time of need. Never could I have ever possibly imagined the past 5 weeks occurring and all that has transpired in this short time, my brain continues to be baffled.
Fact: SFPD might have given up on Randy after 2 days, but NMSAR and the people of SF, LA, ABQ etc...haven't. Forrest Fenn gave up on Randy after two helicopter searches, but Team Randy does not give up.
February 22 - First of all I want to thank you all for caring and continuing to follow this mission. Caring about Randy. Caring about his family. Caring about us having resolution for this missing persons case. I, along with you, want just one thing...to find out what happened to Randy. To find Randy.
When this mission began we only had so many clues to go on. I reached out to many friends and family members to have as many resources possible to help in the search. We did have a few missing pieces at the start, but we went forth with the information we did have. Yet, I continued to keep in contact with as many friends of Randy's that I could and usually got more answers. Everyone wants to help. Everyone wants to supply those missing pieces.
Unfortunately we didn't have all the facts correct in the beginning. This weekend our daughters did a search of Randy's apartment. On their father's 55th birthday, together with Randy's sister and nephew they cleaned out all his belongings. I am so extremely proud of their strength and how they stood tall while carrying a huge burden on their shoulders.
There were a few facts that we "assumed." First off is the backpack. We thought he was using his brand new backpack, the blue one with the yellow stripes. Well he wasn't. He most likely had his blue backpack that was in the selfie photo. Basically the same color blue, but no yellow stripes.
Next up is the waders photo. It wasn't recent. That photo was taken in December of 2014.
There were no waders, wetsuit, whistle or GPS found in the car or apartment. There was an empty box for the GPS and for brand new hiking boots, which were the boots he left in the car. There was an old pair of hiking boots found in his other car that was at his apartment. Not sure how many hiking boots he owned, but knowing his frugal nature, not many. Randy was the type of person to purchase something and not replace it unless absolutely necessary.
I also spoke with Randy's ex-roommate. He confirmed what we already knew that Leo was terrified of the water. There was one hunt that they went on when Leo would not wade across the river, so Randy had to gently toss him across. Leo got so upset that he went back to the car and waited until Randy completed his search. I thought this story was funny as I imagined it in my head. Anyway, this story would help to explain why if Randy did place the raft and Leo on the east side and go back into the river, Leo was not going to follow him and there was no chance in hell that Randy was going to toss him across the Rio Grande!
Another story was from back in March of 2015 when Randy was in Santa Fe for a hunt and had missed the sunset. He decided to spend the night in a concrete drain pipe. Once again, Leo was upset because he had spent the night standing guard and barking at the critters who decided to make an appearance. Those two were quite a daring duo.
And unfortunately it seems that Randy had drank the kool-aid. Enough said for now.