Missing elderly man found dead in a pond. His dog sat beside him, refusing to leave his side

Missing elderly man found dead in a pond. His dog sat beside him, refusing to leave his side

It took around 14 hours for the man to be found, and the dog patiently waited with his body the entire time.

For several hours, officers working for the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office were on the lookout for 70-year-old John Stewart who was reportedly missing. The elderly man was last seen with his dog at 9 p.m. on Monday, July 5, 2021, before a missing report was filed. After a rampant search that went on for 14 hours, the elderly man was found lifeless in a pond in Grass Valley, California. Sitting right beside his body was his trusted pooch, Rico, who patiently by the water, according to The Sun.

It was around 2:30 pm when volunteers from Nevada County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue and other agencies found John's body in the water on a property off Retrac Way. Prior to him going missing, the elderly man was known to have had multiple medical issues and also suffered memory loss.


Upon arriving at the scene, deputies saw the gut-wrenching moment of Rico, a black Doberman puppy, staying right by the side of his owner's body. The Nevada County Sheriff's Office wrote on Facebook, "Located not far Stewart’s body, waiting at the edge of the pond, was his loyal dog Rico."


Currently, the cause of John's death has not been deteremined. "At this time, there are no outward signs of foul play, however, a full Coroner’s investigation and an autopsy will be completed to determine the exact cause of Stewart’s death," added The Nevada County Sheriff's Office in their social media post. "Our condolences go out to Stewart’s family and friends during this difficult time."

A similar incident also saw a dog guarding his owner's dead body for two days after the 69-year-old man passed away, according to CBS Sacramento.

Reported missing near his Foresthill home in California, David Deshon's body was found in the snow about 100 yards from a neighbor’s home. His daughter, Shona, believes that he decided to hike back home after his car got stuck in the snow but must have collapsed on the way.


"He tried to hike up 200 feet that way and decided [to] and came back," Shona said. “You can see his tracks in the snow." His two dogs, Baby Dog and Buddy, were with him at the time.

"Baby Dog stayed with him," Shona said. "[He was] on his chest to keep him warm." When rescuers arrived, they had a hard time getting to David because Baby Dog wouldn't let them anywhere near him. It took a neighbor, who was familiar with Baby Dog, to finally get the loyal canine calm down and allow the rescuers to attend to David's body.


David's other dog, Buddy was found at a neighbor's house and was given antibiotics after the incident that took place in February 2021. But no medicine could be given to Baby Dog to treat him of his broken heart after David's untimely death. "I just feel like I need to take Baby Dog because he is part of my dad now," Shona said about taking Baby Dog in at the time.

Because of Baby Dog, David "didn’t die alone," Shona said. "He didn’t die alone at all."

Cover image source: Nevada County Sheriff's Office

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