An author whose book hints at a cache of gold, jewelry and artifacts worth nearly $2 million in New Mexico is searching for a Colorado man who missing while looking for the loot.

News station KOB-TV reports (http://bit.ly/1ZH03g8 ) that author Forrest Fenn chartered a helicopter Thursday after New Mexico State Police called off the hunt for 54-year-old Randy Bilyeu outside Santa Fe. Fenn called the situation "terrible."

Bilyeu went missing nearly three weeks ago while seeking out the treasure trove that Fenn drops clues about in his 2011 memoir, "The Thrill of the Chase."

Fenn, an art and antiquities dealer, says he hid the chest of valuable items in the mountains outside the city.

Searchers last week found Bilyeu's raft and dog, but no sign of the man.

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Information from: KOB-TV, http://www.kob.com