Wednesday, December 07, 2022

They find a hiker dead, with his dog alive next to him

PRESCOTT, Ariz. ( Associated Press) — A hiker was found dead, but his dog is still alive and with him in rugged forest on Mingus Mountain in north-central Arizona, five days after he was killed. been reported missing, according to authorities.

Investigators found the body of Donald Hayes Wednesday after six days of searching for the 74-year-old Prescott Valley man, the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement.

Hayes had called authorities on May 13 to tell them she was missing, triggering a six-day search by ground and air, the department said.

During the call, Hayes was advised to remain where he was pending rescue, according to the department. “Unfortunately, the victim decided not to follow the advice and tried to find his way out, which caused him to get further lost in the woods.”

The rugged area where Hayes’ body was found was difficult for investigators to access, but they were able to do so on Wednesday, the department said.

Hayes took his dog, Ranger, with him on the outing and the dog, after being found with Hayes’ body, was taken to a veterinarian for treatment, the statement added.

The statement did not provide a cause of death for Hayes or give details about his dog’s condition, and a department spokesman did not immediately respond to calls Thursday from The Associated Press.

Investigators included teams from four counties and a state police helicopter.

“I am grateful to all the volunteer search and rescue teams and others who have dedicated their time over six days to locate the victim and bring her home,” said Police Chief David Rhodes. “Our searchers used every tool at their disposal to find Mr. Hayes and never gave up.”

Mingus Mountain is 86 miles (108 kilometers) north of Phoenix.

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