Colorado hiker who had been missing since August found dead with his dog alive by his side

Rich Moore, 71, from Pagosa Springs, was reported missing with his dog Finney the evening of Aug. 19. Finney was found alive by his side.
Published: Nov. 13, 2023 at 6:00 PM MST
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PAGOSA SPRINGS, Colo. — The body of a 71-year-old hiker from Pagosa Springs who went missing with his dog in August has been found, the Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office announced Monday.

Rich Moore was reported missing along with his dog, Finney, on the evening of Aug. 19 prompting an extensive search of the Blackhead Peak area on the ground and by air by multiple agencies. According to the sheriff’s office, search teams and personnel searched nearly 2,000 hours for Moore and Finney.

On Monday, Oct. 30 at approximately 3 p.m., the Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office received information from a local hunter in the Lower Blanco drainage basin that he found a deceased man and a white dog. Members of the sheriff’s office, with the assistance of a flight crew working the Forest Service Fires, conducted a recon flight of the area for a suitable landing zone.

On Tuesday, Oct. 31, sheriff’s office personnel as well as members of the Upper San Juan Search and Rescue were flown to the designated landing zone by the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control, they then located the body and positively identified him as Moore. The sheriff’s office said Moore was recovered by the team and flown off the mountain. Finney, Moore’s Jack Russell Terrier, was alive and rescued by the search and recovery team. She was transported to a local veterinary hospital for an examination and treatment. She has been reunited with her family.

Moore’s cause of death is unknown but foul play is not suspected, the sheriff’s office said.

Members of the Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office, Upper San Juan Search and Rescue, Mineral County Search and Rescue, La Plata County Search and Rescue, New Mexico and Colorado K9 Search Teams as well as aerial assets from the Colorado Air National Guard, USFS Wildland Flight Crews and Flight for Life assisted in the search efforts.