Colorado hiker Rich Moore’s body was found nearly three months after first going missing, with his dog alive and still by his side. Moore, 71, had gone missing in August after going on a hike up Blackhead Peak. He took his dog, Finney, a white Jack Russell terrier, with him.
After Moore, of Pagosa Springs, never returned after his August 19 hike, a search and rescue team began to conduct multiple missions to find him. Blackhead Peak, which is a mountain east of Moore’s home, has an elevation of 12,500 feet.
UPDATE: Missing Colorado hiker’s body found with surviving dog near his side 2 months after disappearing. pic.twitter.com/TWk1KodMDF
— Daily Loud (@DailyLoud) November 14, 2023
According to Fox News, Taos Search and Rescue (TSAR) conducted “extensive” search efforts. One TSAR member, Delinda Vanne-Brightyn, volunteered to help search for Moore soon after he first went missing. She was a part of one of the first teams to look for him almost three months ago.
Vanne-Brightyn also took along her certified rescue dog to hopefully help find Moore and his dog Finney. Unfortunately, the difficult terrain made their search difficult, even though they were inserted by helicopter near the mountain peak.
She explained her team’s search on the TSAR’s Facebook page, posting, “It was so steep, we were inserted in by a helicopter. He was found 2.5 miles East of the mountaintop beneath where we were inserted.”
Vanne-Brightyn also explained that winds were very strong in this area.
TSAR also searched the area near where Moore’s car was found parked. However, it wasn’t until October 30 that they found Moore deceased after a hunter came across Moore and his dog. The hunter found Moore’s body in the Rio Blanco drainage. This drainage is about 2.5 miles east of Blackhead Peak.
After being contacted by the hunter, authorities conducted a team to go to this remote area the next day. Rescue and identification were then done.
According to The Denver Gazette, the sheriff’s office has not determined Moore’s cause of death yet. However, no foul play is currently suspected.
After discovering Moore’s dog Finney was alive and by his side, the team worked to help care for the Jack Russell, who had stayed months by its owner’s side. Finney received veterinary care. Then, the dog was reunited with Moore’s family.