Barking dog leads searchers to her missing owner after he died on hike

A Washington state man reported missing on a hike with his dog was found dead after a searcher heard the pet barking.

The Pierce County Sheriff’s Office reported the recovery of the 64-year-old man’s body after a search Thursday that began at daybreak and spanned more than 12 hours. He was reported missing after failing to return home Wednesday.

“This was a very sad end to a tough search, but we are incredibly proud of our deputies and the volunteers’ efforts to find the missing man and return him to his family,” the sheriff’s office said Friday in a news release.

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“Without the barking of his loyal companion Daisy, we never would have located the missing man,” the news release said. “It was amazing.”

The man had gone on a hike with Daisy in Evans Creek, the news release said. His wife said she had gone geocaching, a GPS scavenger-like hunt.

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His body was found after a searcher heard a dog barking in the distance and then soon spotted a dog matching the description of Daisy up a steep embankment above the Marshall River, Q13 Fox reported.

"Our deputy hiked another 30 minutes through thick woods and brush up to the dog's location, where he located the missing man," the news release said.

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The coroner said the man died from heart disease, the station reported.