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Burnett, like her son, is now drawn to the Superstitions by an intense force she can't fully verbalize. She's read all her son's books, but it's not about the lust for gold or the photos of gorgeous desert scenery, she says; the Superstitions are just the only place she imagines she'll really feel connected to her Jesse. The mountains were a sacred place to the Apache, which is how they got their name, and now they're sacred to Cynthia Burnett.

She dreams of walking the trails someday, seeing what her son saw in the place he didn't dare tell her he was going but sacrificed everything to get to.

"We've got no place to go in memory of Jesse because we don't have his body," she says. "So down the line, I'd like to go into the area, maybe with some of the men who've been hunting for him, and have them take me down one of those trails — just to be where Jesse was last alive. That was Jesse's bliss, and I want to go where he found his bliss."

The Superstition Search and Rescue squad's hunt for Jesse Capen is the longest in the history of the Superstitions.
The Superstition Search and Rescue squad's hunt for Jesse Capen is the longest in the history of the Superstitions.
Robert Cooper has been leading the search for Jesse Capen.
Robert Cooper has been leading the search for Jesse Capen.

Contact the author at

editorial@westword.com.

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