Dog stayed by missing hiker’s body in Colorado national forest for months

The body of Rich Moore, 71, was found Oct. 30 alongside his still-living Jack Russel Terrier, Finney

Katie Lanford
The Denver Post

The body of a Pagosa Springs man missing since August was found in the San Juan National Forest on Oct. 30 with his Jack Russell Terrier, Finney, still alive and by his side.

Rich Moore, 71, was reported missing with his dog in the area of Blackhead Peak on Aug. 19. Blackhead Peak is approximately 18 miles east of Pagosa Springs.

A local hunter spotted Moore’s body and a white dog in the lower Blanco River drainage basin on Oct. 30 and reported it to the Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office. On Oct. 31, a team flew in to recover Moore’s body and rescue Finney, according to a news release from Sheriff Mike Le Roux.

Finney was transported to a local veterinary hospital for examination and treatment and has been reunited with her family, according to the sheriff’s office. Moore was a member of the San Juan Outdoor Club, and the group shared an update about his passing in a newsletter on Nov. 5.

“We are all heartbroken over the loss of Rich but are glad he has been located and overjoyed that Finney has returned home to (her family),” the group wrote.

Local, state, and national search and rescue teams spent nearly 2,000 cumulative hours searching for Moore, Le Roux said. His cause of death has not yet been determined, but foul play is not suspected.