According to the local sheriff’s office, a 71-year-old man from Colorado who went hiking on a mountain near his home in mid-August was finally found months after he went missing, with his surviving dog found sitting by his side.
When Moore went missing, an extensive search and rescue effort was launched to find him, with crews from Taos Search and Rescue (TSR) inserted near the peak of the mountain on which he went missing, Blackhead Peak, and dutifully and thoroughly searching the area. Though they found Moore’s parked car, they found neither him nor his dog.
Until now, that is, as on October 30 a hunter about two and a half miles to the east of the mountain’s peak discovered Moore’s corpse. When the hunter found Moore, he also found Finney, Moore’s white Jack Russell terrier, next to Moore’s corpse.
Moore’s cause of death was initially unclear, but Archuleta County Coroner Brad Hunt later noted that Moore somehow contracted and died of hypothermia, adding that hypothermia can lead to people becoming disoriented and confused. Finney, who weighed about 12 pounds when Moore went hiking and missing, was down to weighing 6 pounds when found by the hunter.
Describing the original search and Moore’s being found after ten weeks in a post on the TSR Facebook page, TSAR member Delinda Vanne-Brightyn said, “We searched from just under the peak-top and directly West, searching down the mountain toward where his car was located. Winds were directly from the West/Soutwest. It was so steep, we were inserted in by a helicopter. He was found 2.5 miles East of the mountain-top beneath where we were inserted.”
Vanne-Brightyn also commented on Finney, saying, “If that dog could talk it would be an amazing story. We probably could not even believe the story the dog would tell. We are very glad … that Finney was returned to the family because they have lost their loved one, but they still have this wonderful, loyal dog.”
A TSAR Facebook post, commenting on the situation, said, “On October 30th, the body of missing hiker 71-year-old Rich Moore of Pagosa Springs has been found, along with his dog, who was found alive and with his body. Moore and his dog had been missing since August 19, disappearing after leaving with a plan to summit Blackhead Peak, which is located just east of Pagosa Springs.”
The post went on to add that at least the family now has some closure in the matter, writing, “Delinda and TSAR would like to send our condolences to the family, but are glad they were able to gain some closure as well as bring their dog back home.”
One of Moore’s friends, writing about him around the time he went missing, said, “My friend Rich Moore and his dog Finney are missing from Pagosa Springs, Colorado. They went missing August 19th from a remote hiking area outside of Pagosa Springs. SAR efforts have been called off and friends and family are now searching. To all my Colorado friends and anyone passing through the area, please keep an eye out for them…. Rich is an experienced hiker and Finney is a very strong well behaved dog so it’s not understood how this happened. Please pray for them and their family 🙏 ❤️❤️❤️🐾💞”
Featured image credit: TSAR Facebook
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