Arizona authorities revealed the last contact they had with a 74-year-old man found dead Wednesday in a remote, difficult-to-reach area of Mingus Mountain in Prescott National Forest.
Donald Hayes called his wife Friday to tell her that he and his dog Ranger were lost; officials from the sheriff’s office forest patrol called him back and asked him to stay where he was until rescuers that were already on the way find him.
But Hayes made the deadly decision to try and find his way by himself, telling the patrol that he would go down the ravine and turn his phone off.
Rescuers searched the area for several days before locating Hayes’ body; Ranger the dog was extremely dehydrated and frail next to his lifeless owner.
The pooch was rushed to an animal hospital to receive treatment.