On April 25th, the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department in Washington State was searching all day for a missing man who was believed to have gone hiking and hadn’t returned.
As the day continued, the prospects of finding the man were growing dimmer and dimmer until, at 6 PM, a deputy was alerted by a dog barking.
The deputy followed the sound of the dog’s bark deeper into the woods. It took a total of 30 minutes for the deputy to hike far enough to reach the dog.
Upon seeing her, the deputy was able to confirm that the dog matched the description of Daisy, the missing man’s loyal companion who had disappeared with her owner.
Daisy was waiting alongside her owner who, sadly, was deceased. Authorities said the man, whose name is still unknown, most likely suffered an injury caused by a fall. While the outcome of the day’s search was devastating, it at least brought closure to the deceased man’s wife and family.
The sheriff’s department was rightfully proud of their efforts to find the man and was even more proud of Daisy, who stood by her owner’s side as long as it took.
The missing man was 64 years old and was from Eatonville, Washington. The town is small, with a population of just over 2,000 residents, and is about fifty miles south of Seattle. The search began at daybreak when the man’s wife called 911 to report her husband, their dog, and his vehicle missing from their residence.
The man frequently hiked; however, this time he did not leave his wife any information about his whereabouts and did not return by nightfall. Luckily, she checked his recent search history and found information about geocaching sites in the Evans Creek area that he might be exploring.
Geocaching, according to the platform’s official website, allows people to utilize their phone’s GPS to mark areas where they have left an outdoor treasure. Other participants can use the GPS location to find what has been hidden, add something new to the site, or just let the original user know that they found it.
Authorities with the Foothills Detachment began looking in the Evans Creek area, particularly for the man’s vehicle. They were able to get the last known location of the man’s phone, which indicated he was near Alder Lake. Alder Lake is south of Eatonville by about ten miles, according to Tacoma Public Utilities.
By 3:00 PM, Mountain Detachment deputies and the Air Operations Unit located a vehicle on the embankment of a nearby highway they believed belonged to the missing man.
However, it turned out to be a stolen vehicle dropped off on a remote part of the road. With only a few more hours of daylight left, the investigation had hit a snare.
Finally, at 4:45 pm, they found the vehicle of the missing man. It was parked near Eatonville on a small side road. Upon entering the car, authorities found numerous geocache locations, which served the Search & Rescue Team well in deciding how to strategize the rescue mission.
It took an hour after the Search & Rescue Team began scoping the area before someone with the team heard Daisy’s bark. According to a Facebook post by the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, it was actually the team’s newest member who first recognized the dog bark.
Once Daisy did her job helping authorities find her owner’s body, the Search & Rescue team along with nine volunteers from Tacoma Mountain Rescue squad removed the body from the scene by utilizing a system of ropes. Animal Control also returned Daisy to her home.
The Facebook post thanks Daisy for her loyalty, which made it possible for authorities to find the body. Their post has been shared over a thousand times with nearly 800 comments as of this writing, mostly praising the dog for her unbelievable commitment.