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YCSO Finds Missing Hiker, Who Was Last Seen Friday, Deceased

Yavapai County Sheriff’s officials’ search for a missing 74-year-old Prescott Valley hiker and his dog, is over. Authorities say Donald Hayes was last seen Friday on Wood Chute trailhead on Mingus Mountain. Donald was found in a tough area for searchers to reach. When crews got to the scene, they found Donald to be deceased and his dog, Ranger, to be alive and waiting with Donald. Ranger was seen by a veterinarian on sight and was taken for further treatment at an animal hospital. Officials say Donald Hayes called his wife Friday afternoon to say he and his dog “Ranger” were lost but he wasn’t sure where. He also told searchers that day he had food and water but was turning off his phone to save the battery. YCSO Backcountry Search and Rescue, Verde SAR, search dogs, the Sheriff’s Volunteer OHV Unit, and a DPS Ranger helicopter all partook in the search and rescue process. YCSO would like to thank the community for offering help in the search.

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