A nearly two-month search for a missing Colorado hiker came to a tragic end this week when the body of 71-year-old Rich Moore was discovered in a remote mountain area.
Miraculously, Moore’s Jack Russell terrier, Finney, was found alive alongside her deceased owner.
Moore, a resident of Pagosa Springs, was reported missing on August 19 after failing to return from an attempted summit of Blackhead Peak, a rugged 12,500 foot mountain located east of town in the South San Juan Wilderness.
According to a press release from the Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office, Moore’s remains were located on October 30 by a hunter in the lower drainage basin of Rio Blanco.
The following day, search and rescue personnel were flown in by helicopter to recover and identify the body as well as rescue Finney. The loyal dog was transported to a local veterinary hospital for treatment and has since been reunited with Moore’s grieving family.
While an official cause of death has not been released, officials say foul play is not suspected in Moore’s passing. Blackhead Peak is known for its challenging terrain, especially on the western approach which Moore is believed to have attempted alone.
After more than seven weeks missing in the harsh alpine conditions, the fact that 14-year-old Finney was found alive by her owner’s side has been called nothing short of extraordinary.
Cover photo: Rugged terrain on the ridgeline leading to the Blackhead Peak summit.