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Hiker lost in Arizona found dead;  dog who stayed with him was rescued, officials say


Researchers on Wednesday found the body of a hiker who got lost in an Arizona forest, and his dog, who was alive but in serious condition, authorities said.

Donald Hayes, 74, had been lost on Mingus Mountain in the Prescott National Forest since Friday. His body was found in a rugged area Wednesday afternoon, along with his Ranger dog who had stayed with him, the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

The Yavapai County K9 Search and Rescue Team, which assisted in the search for Hayes for several days, said the dog was in serious condition but was receiving treatment.

Hayes called his wife on Friday and said he and Ranger were lost. The Sheriff’s Office Forest Patrol told Hayes that rescuers were on the way and that he should stay where he was, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Hayes, who told patrol on Friday he was turning off his phone to save battery power, chose not to wait and tried to find his way, the sheriff’s office said.

The Mingus Mountain area has elevations between 7,200 and about 7,800 feet, according to the US Forest Service. Prescott Valley, where Hayes lived, is surrounded by the 1.25 million acre National Forest.

Hayes’ body was found in a hard-to-reach hilly area, according to the sheriff’s office.

Rescue team members told NBC affiliate KPNX of Phoenix that the dog was dehydrated and appeared exhausted.

Rescuers gave the dog oxygen and fluids and cooled him down before taking him to the vet, the search and rescue team said.

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