Pagosa Springs, Colorado – After months of being missing, a hiker from Colorado was tragically found dead in late October. However, in a heartwarming twist, his loyal 14-year-old Jack Russell terrier was discovered alive and waiting faithfully by his side. The story of the hiker’s disappearance and the resilience of his canine companion has captivated the local community and beyond.
The body of 71-year-old Rich Moore was discovered by a hunter in the Lower Blanco drainage basin on October 30, according to reports from 9News in Colorado. Accompanying Moore’s lifeless body was his white Jack Russell terrier, named Finney, who miraculously survived the ordeal. Authorities had conducted an extensive aerial search for Moore and Finney after they were reported missing nearly three months prior.
Members of Taos Search and Rescue, one of the agencies involved in the search, described the extreme difficulties they faced in reaching the hiker and his dog. The rugged terrain, steep slopes, and prevailing winds made it a challenging mission. The agency’s Facebook page detailed how they were inserted by helicopter and found Moore’s body 2.5 miles east of the mountain-top, below where they were deployed.
Following their recovery, both Moore and Finney were safely transported off the mountain by a dedicated search and rescue team. Finney, after receiving examination and treatment at a local animal hospital, was joyfully reunited with her family. Taos Search and Rescue extended their heartfelt condolences to Moore’s family, expressing their gratitude that the family now has some closure and their beloved dog back home.
Rich Moore and Finney were first reported missing on the evening of August 19 in the Blackhead Peak area, a rugged mountain peak east of Pagosa Springs. They had embarked on a hike up the peak, reaching an elevation of 12,500 feet, but failed to return as expected. Authorities launched an extensive search effort, dedicating nearly 2,000 hours to the mission.
The cause of Rich Moore’s death remains unknown, and officials from the Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office do not suspect foul play. The tragedy of his passing and the remarkable story of Finney’s survival have left the community in shock and admiration for the bond between a dedicated hiker and his loyal companion.