Found Deceased AZ - Donald Hayes, 74, & dog, hiker, called & said he's lost, didn't want to wait for a rescue, turned phone off, Mingus Mountain, 13 May 2022

GuyfromCanada

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The Yavapai County Sheriff's Office says a Prescott Valley hiker is still missing after he was last seen in Wood Chute trailhead on Mingus Mountain Friday morning.

The missing hiker has been identified as Donald Hayes, 74, who called his wife Friday afternoon to say he and his dog, Ranger, were lost.

According to Yavapai County Sheriff's Office, Forest Patrol was able to contact Hayes on Friday around 2 p.m. on his cell phone. Hayes said he did not want to wait for a rescue and he was "continuing down a ravine."

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More at Hiker still missing after reporting he was lost on Mingus Mountain Friday

 

SDHELPS

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Still missing...

" He also said he still had food and water and was turning his phone off to save the battery. There has been no further communication with him, and efforts to use GPS through his cell phone have been unsuccessful."
 

GuyfromCanada

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Missing for over 48 hours already. Why would Donald decide to turn his phone off to save the battery? Now his phone can't be pinged.
 

wary

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Missing for over 48 hours already. Why would Donald decide to turn his phone off to save the battery? Now his phone can't be pinged.
Very frustrating, and I hope it won’t be tragic. I think he thought he’d be okay—had food and water. So, he wanted to save the battery in case he ‘ran into real trouble.’
 

Unsolved

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From article upthread:
"YCSO Forest Patrol was able to contact Mr. Hayes Friday around 2 p.m. on his cell phone but he stated that he did not want to wait for a rescue and that he was “continuing down a ravine”. He stated he was unsure of what ravine, but told Forest Patrol he thought he was moving northwest and saw Williamson Valley".

Can you imagine how frustrating it was for the Forest Patrol to have a 74 year old man reporting he was lost and then didn't want to wait for a rescue? I'm sure their response was "Stay put and wait"! But he didn't, and now we can only pray that he is safe and will be located soon. I checked the weather on Mingus Mountain and at least it doesn't seem terrible (though chilly nights) - but what about the air quality from some of the western fires? Is it bad there?

 

GuyfromCanada

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MAY 16

NO UPDATE ON MISSING HIKER

Though search and rescue teams and law enforcement have continued looking for the missing hiker, Mr. Hayes and his dog Ranger, there has been no sign of them as of midday today.

YCSO will continue ground and air searches, but due to the difficult terrain and the large area in which they are working,
YCSO is looking to bring in assistance from neighboring counties.

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Trackergd

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I doubt his visual references and direction of travel can be relied on at this point. Even if he met with an accident, Ranger should have been located by now. A thermal drone search would be effective in the early morning before dawn. Ravines are notorious for having deadfall and debris that can cause a hiker to fall and be injured.
 

GraceG

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Does he have cognitive issues the family hasn't said anything about publically? I saw similar behaviors with my father after a "mini stroke" in his 70's. He lived to be 101 but could no longer let him drive or travel alone for outdoor activities after that as he'd get a little disoriented if tired, then verbally combative if someone tried to assist him.
 

GuyfromCanada

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Found deceased, the dog was found alive.

ETA: changed link, for some reason the last one is not working now.

 
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WingsOverTX

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RIP, sir. Condolences to his family and friends.

Wow, his dog Ranger was still there with him. What an incredible bond!

Not a terrain or climate to go off trail in. I hope we learn more.

MOO
 
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