A hiker missing since August has been found dead in Colorado with his dog still alive next to his body, authorities said.
Rich Moore, 71, of Pagosa Springs, was reported missing on August 19 and his body was discovered on October 30, according to a Taos Search and Rescue Facebook post last week. Beside Moore, the dog was discovered to be alive.
The Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office was cited by The Denver Gazette in their claim that Moore and his dog vanished while attempting to summit Blackhead Peak, which is located around 20 miles east of Pagosa Springs.
The sheriff’s office said that Moore’s body was found on Oct. 30 by a hunter in the Lower Blanco drainage basin, which is in a valley southeast of Blackhead Peak’s summit, the Gazette reported. His white Jack Russell terrier, Finney, was next to the body, the sheriff’s office said.
On Oct. 31, members of the sheriff’s office and a search and rescue team were flown into the area to locate and recover Moore’s body, the Gazette reported, citing the sheriff’s office. Finney was transported to a veterinary hospital for treatment and has since been reunited with her family, officials said.
Officials did not release Moore’s cause of death, but said that foul play is not suspected.
Situated in the San Juan Mountains of southwest Colorado, Blackhead Peak rises to a height of 12,500 feet.
Delinda Vanne-Brightyn, a member of Taos Search and Rescue, stated on Facebook that she and her search dog participated in the initial search.
“We searched from just under the peak-top and directly west, searching down the mountain toward where his car was located,” Vanne-Brightyn wrote. “He was found 2.5 miles east of the mountain-top beneath where we were inserted [by helicopter].”
This marks at least the third time a dog has been found alive next to a hiker’s body since last year. In May 2022, a Labrador was found lying next to the body of a 74-year-old Arizona man who had died during a hike.
The month before that, a missing 29-year-old hiker was found dead in Los Angeles’ Griffith Park with his dog by his side. Family members said it appeared the dog hadn’t left his side for two weeks