Colorado Hiker Missing Since August Found Deceased with Dog Alive by His Side

by Megusta

Authorities have officially confirmed the unfortunate discovery of Rich Moore, a 71-year-old hiker from Pagosa Springs who had been missing since August 19. Taos Search and Rescue shared the tragic news via a Facebook post last week, revealing that Moore’s lifeless body was found on October 30, while his loyal dog was discovered alive beside him.

As reported by The Denver Gazette, Moore and his canine companion went missing during a planned ascent of Blackhead Peak, located about 20 miles east of Pagosa Springs, according to the Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office.

The sheriff’s office disclosed that a hunter found Rich Moore’s body on October 30 in the Lower Blanco drainage basin, situated in a valley southeast of the summit of Blackhead Peak, as reported by The Gazette. Alongside Moore’s body was his white Jack Russell terrier, Finney, as confirmed by the sheriff’s office.

On October 31, members of the sheriff’s office and a search and rescue team were airlifted to the area to locate and recover Moore’s body, The Gazette reported, citing the sheriff’s office. Finney received treatment at a veterinary hospital and has since been reunited with her family, officials stated.

While the cause of Moore’s death was not disclosed by officials, they assured that foul play is not suspected.

Blackhead Peak, with an elevation of 12,500 feet, is situated in the San Juan Mountains in southwestern Colorado.

Delinda Vanne-Brightyn, a member of Taos Search and Rescue, recounted the initial search in a Facebook post, noting, “We searched from just under the peak-top and directly west, searching down the mountain toward where his car was located. He was found 2.5 miles east of the mountain-top beneath where we were inserted [by helicopter].”

This incident represents at least the third occurrence of a dog being found alive next to a deceased hiker since last year. In May 2022, a Labrador was discovered beside the body of a 74-year-old Arizona man who had passed away during a hike.

The month prior, a missing 29-year-old hiker was found deceased in Los Angeles’ Griffith Park with his loyal dog faithfully by his side, according to family members who noted that the dog had not left his side for two weeks.

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