On March 16, a man named Oscar Alejandro Hernandez and his dog King went for a hike and never came back.
The two had disappeared into Los Angeles’ popular Griffith Park, a 4,200-acre swath of manzanita and oak-covered hills and canyons networked by trails. They were last seen on the trail near the merry-go-round located at the park. Family members put up signs, posted online bulletins and organized searches.
“We are appealing to the general public to kindly help us find our missing family member,” one poster read. “He was last seen in Griffith Park, near the Merry-Go-Round hiking trails.
“If you have any information that can help us find him, kindly report to the nearest police, or contact his family via the following numbers.”
The LAPD also put out a missing person notice, in hopes that some local would know something and come forward.
“Oscar was last seen on March 16, 2022, at 2:30 a.m., in the Griffith Park area, driving a red 2004 Ford Explorer,’” the announcement from March 22 read. “He has not been seen or heard from since. His family is concerned for his safety.
“Oscar is described as a male Hispanic with brown hair and brown eyes. He stands 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighs approximately 150 pounds. He was wearing a blue shirt and black sweat pants.”
For over two weeks, people were on the lookout for the missing man, but when he was found, he had already passed.
#BREAKING: Body of 29 year old Oscar Hernandez, missing for 16 days, discovered in #GriffithPark. His dog, King, found alive and by his side. pic.twitter.com/9hieZs806u
— Robert Kovacik (@RobertNBCLA) April 1, 2022
On the evening of March 31, Hernandez’s body was found in a remote area of Griffith Park. His dog was with him, emaciated but loyally standing guard, according to what the man’s cousin told KNBC.
One firefighter said it took a good hike to reach the area where the body was found. The body had to be moved by search-and-rescue helicopter to a nearby field to be analyzed, according to KABC-TV.
Family members, park rangers, the LAPD and the Los Angeles Fire Department were all present that evening.
So far, no cause of death has been shared, though the investigation is ongoing.
Though the discovery was a sad one, and the outcome is not what the family would have hoped for, they now know just how loyal King is. Many have found in this sad story a beautiful display of just how loyal a good dog can be.