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A Week After a Hiker Went Missing in Colorado, His Dog Has Turned Up Alive

Lucky turned up three days after authorities called off the ground search for Josh Hall.

The dog of a missing hiker turned up alive on the side of a Colorado highway on February 11, three days after authorities suspended their search, according to a tweet by the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office.

Josh Hall, 27, was reported missing on Feb. 3, when he didn’t return from a hike with his dog, Happy, that morning. His mother, Laura Vukson, told the Daily Camera that he was supposed to be home in time for an online class at 5 p.m. 

“If Josh decided he was going to skip class, which he wouldn’t do because he’s 27, not 18; if he knew he wasn’t going to get back in time and could have called me, he would have called,” Vukson told DailyCamera reporter Mitchell Byars.

Hall’s vehicle was later found at Hessie Trailhead, where he began his hike, according to a statement from the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office. His cell phone last pinged near the Devil’s Thumb Trail/Diamond Lake cutoff.

On Monday, the Sheriff’s Office suspended the ground search, citing unsafe weather conditions.

“After multiple days of searching, we have made the difficult decision to suspend ground search efforts, until such time as new information surfaces, or until snow melt occurs, increasing safety and searching becomes more feasible,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement on their website. The aerial search is still ongoing

Vukson told the Daily Camera that Happy, while hungry (he had lost at least 10 pounds), was otherwise healthy.

In a Facebook post, Rocky Mountain Rescue Group, one of the crews searching for Hall, described him as 6’4 and 200 pounds, and said they believe him to have been wearing a green khaki jacket, a dark hat, and a grey/green backpack. Anyone who encounters any of these items or a dog leash while recreating near Nederland, Colorado’s Hessie Trailhead should contact Boulder County dispatch at (303) 441-4444.