A 71-year-old man, Rich Moore, who went missing during a summertime hike with his dog in Colorado, has been discovered dead on a mountain nearly two months later. The search for Moore and his dog began on August 19, after they left home with the intention of summiting Blackhead Peak, as reported by Taos Search and Rescue. Remarkably, the dog was found alive and beside him.
According to information from the Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office, as reported by The Denver Gazette, Moore and his dog disappeared when they had intended to reach the summit of Blackhead Peak, situated approximately 20 miles to the east of Pagosa Springs.
Mr Moore’s remains were discovered on October 30 in the Lower Blanco drainage basin by a hunter. This valley is situated southeast of the summit of Blackhead Peak. The sheriff’s office stated that Moore’s white Jack Russell terrier, Finney, was found beside his body.
On October 31, members of the sheriff’s office and a search and rescue team were airlifted into the area to locate and retrieve Moore’s body, as per the Gazette and the sheriff’s office. Finney was taken to a veterinary hospital for treatment and has since been joyfully reunited with her family, officials confirmed.
Authorities did not disclose the cause of Moore’s death but assured that foul play is not suspected, CBS reported.
Situated in the southwestern region of Colorado, the San Juan Mountains, Blackhead Peak boasts an elevation of 12,500 feet.
In a Facebook post, Delinda Vanne-Brightyn, a member of Taos Search and Rescue, shared her involvement in the initial search along with her search dog. She explained, “We searched from just below the peak’s summit and directly west, scanning down the mountain toward the location of his car.” Vanne-Brightyn noted that he was discovered 2.5 miles east of the mountain’s summit, beneath the insertion point where they were dropped by helicopter.
This incident marks 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 lying beside the body of a 74-year-old Arizona man who had passed away during a hike. The month before that, a missing 29-year-old hiker was found deceased in Los Angeles’ Griffith Park with his loyal dog by his side. Family members observed that it seemed the dog had not left his side for two weeks.