Hiker discovered dead after missing for 3 months, dog still alive and by his side

November 13, 2023

A tragic ending to an excruciating, three-month search for a missing hiker occurred recently after he was discovered deceased, and one particular detail stunned those who discovered him.

According to the Daily Mail, hiker Rich Moore, 71, set out for a hike to Blackhead Peak, located in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado, with his white Jack Russell dog.

Moore started his trek with his dog at his side on Aug. 19. Sadly, he went missing, and it wasn't until Oct. 30 that a hunter happened to come across his deceased body, and presumably to his great surprise, the hiker's dog, Finny, who was still alive.

The dog managed to not only survive in the wilderness for nearly three months but remained steadfast at his owner's side.

The Mail described the trail Moore set out to hike:

The hiking route to Blackhead's 12,500-foot summit is approximately three miles with an elevation gain of 2,500 feet. The road to the peak is described as 'rough, rocky, and steep, but the last stretch is an unmaintained 'social trail, The Mercury News reported.

After the hunter came across Moore's body, the Archuleta County Sheriff's Office and search and rescue retrieved the body from trail.

Finny, Moore's loyal pup, was immediately taken in for veterinarian treatment, and fortunately was later reunited with her family.

Other search and rescue teams spent months attempting to locate Moore's body, with some members of the team recalling how close they were.

The Mail noted:

Delinda Vanne-Brightyn, a member of the group, detailed her experience trying to locate Moore. In the post, she wrote that she responded to the initial search along with her certified K9 dog named Akio Yodasan.

"We searched from just under the peak-top and directly west, searching down the mountain toward where his car was located," Vanne-Brightyn wrote.

Social media users reacted to the sad situation but looked for the silver lining in Finny's loyalty to standing by her owner's side in unthinkable conditions.

"I’m glad they found him and the dog before it got too cold. That poor pup. Dogs are so loyal. My condolences to his family," one X user wrote, while another said, "Awww, his dog stayed all this time. Sweet baby.

Moore's cause of death has not yet been revealed.