Updated at 11:59 am with information from Overland Park PD, Overland Park City Hall
Martin Manley, 60, reportedly committed suicide in front of a police station just south of Kansas City, Kansas yesterday morning. The Overland Park police department did confirm that a suicide happened "Thursday morning" in the "vicinity" of the police department. But they would not confirm if the suicide was Martin Manley or not.
Public Information Officer Sean Reilly said the suicide was not a "public suicide," but that's not what it looks like from Manley's website.
Before his supposed death, Manley published a website detailing his suicide, his life and his work. The website was noticed by the link-sharing community Reddit, whose large traffic immediately overwhelmed Manley's website. The site appears to be working at time of writing, but in case it goes down again, Redditors have assembled some workarounds. A screenshot is available here and working mirrors are here and here.
Manley wrote that he tired of dealing with the challenges of aging:
I was sick of leaving the garage door open overnight. I was sick of forgetting to zip up when I put on my pants. I was sick of forgetting the names of my best friends. I was sick of going downstairs and having no idea why.
A prodigious writer, Manley had a sports column in the Kansas City Star, but says he left abruptly in 2012.
One part of the site that's catching a lot of eyes (and suspicion) regards Manley's finances. In the "preface" of the site, mirrored here Manley claims that he died with a stash of gold and silver coins:
I had no financial problems. I sold my house which was completely paid for in 1998. The same year I bought $30,000 in 1/10 ounce gold coins and pre 1965 silver coins. Gold was $300/ounce when I bought it and silver was $4/ounce. Gold went up to $1,700 and Silver to $44 making my stash worth over $200,000.
Below this information is what looks like a set of GPS coordinates. They correspond to an arboretum just south of KCK.
The website does not explicitly say that Manley's stash is buried there or anywhere, but the presence of coordinates is certainly interesting. Crowds have gathered at the Overland Park Arboretum but park staff say the police have removed them at time of writing.
Update:The Overland Park city hall wrote this on their Facebook page:
There is no treasure.This morning sparked quite the treasure hunt. Overland Park Police have spoken with the family of the victim and they indicated that the victim had purchased gold but had given it away. The alleged “buried treasure” is a hoax. Please be mindful of this and that the Overland Park Arboretum does not allow digging.
Overland Park police reiterated the message in an interview. "Like your momma told you," said Public Information Officer Sean Reilly, "If it sounds too good to be true, it is." Reilly said they too had contacted Manley's family members and said that while he did purchase gold, he had given it away.