PAGOSA SPRINGS, CO – A hiker from Colorado, who had been missing since August, was discovered deceased last week, with his loyal dog still alive by his side, according to official reports.
Rich Moore, 71, a resident of Pagosa Springs, embarked on a hike with his dog to the summit of Blackhead Peak, a mountain east of his home, on August 19. Moore did not return from his expedition, prompting a search by Taos Search and Rescue (TSR).
Rescue teams were airlifted to a location just below the mountain peak and proceeded westward in their search for Moore, towards the trailhead where Moore’s vehicle was parked. Despite their efforts, the team was unable to locate Moore.
On October 30, a hunter in the Rio Blanco drainage, approximately 2.5 miles east of the peak, stumbled upon Moore’s body, as reported by the Denver Gazette, which referred to information from the Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office. Moore’s white Jack Russell terrier, Finney, was found alive beside Moore’s remains.
TSR member Delinda Vanne-Brightyn, who was part of the initial search team along with her certified search dog, shared her experience on the TSR’s Facebook page. She described the terrain as so steep that they had to be airlifted in by a helicopter and mentioned that Moore was found beneath the location where they were initially dropped.
The cause of Moore’s death remains undetermined, according to the sheriff’s office. Meanwhile, Finney was taken to a vet and has since been reunited with Moore’s family.
Blackhead Peak, with an elevation of 12,500 feet, is situated on the western boundary of the South San Juan Wilderness in Archuleta County.