Dog walkers and corpses -- common?

I was walking my dog on Thursday night when he practically pulled me off my feet into a ditch at the side of the road, sniffing vigorously. This made me think of the fact that I’m always reading the plot device in books of people walking dogs and finding corpses.

The very next day (Friday), I heard on NHPR that a woman walking her dog had found corpses resembling the Gehring children.

This coincidence leads me to ask…how often are corpses actually located by Joe or Jane Schmoe out walking the dog?

I’d like to hear statistics - you do hear it quite frequently. Didn’t a dog walker find that awful crematorium thing in Georgia a few years back?

Am I a bad person for wondering how many bodies are found not by dogs on a leash, but are found be entirely unattended dogs with little regard for the ripeness of what they eat?

Also, a dog walker found the bodies of Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman.

Without body-finding dogs, how would every episode of Law & Order begin?

The maid would find the body, of course. Duh!


Out here on the prairie we can figure that every hunting season (pheasant, deer, rabbit, what-have-you) some hunter will stumble on a corpse. Usually it is some demented person who has wandered off and died of exposure. Sometimes it is foul play. The point is that there are few times of the year that any number of people are off the roads and sidewalks and bike trails – that’s when the corpses show up.

I want to say the two children found by the lady walking her dog had been missing for two or three years.


They were taken by their father July 4th, 2003 from Concord, NH following the fireworks. He shot them soon after and drove across the country, burying their bodies somewhere off the interstate. He killed himself in prison, after telling authorities he couldn’t remember where he put the bodies except for a few details and a range of several states.

I’m very hopeful that their mother will be able to bury her children soon.


On the local news hereabouts, they reported that the woman who found the children didn’t just stumble on them, but had taken an interest in the case and had been actively looking for them in likely spots around NE Ohio.

I don’t know how common it is, but it happened to my dog walker once. Not while walking my dog (she wouldn’t have noticed a corpse if she tripped on it). One of those spring thaw things on the Chicago lakefront.

There have been instances of dogs bringing home something like a femur or other large bone to work on in the comfort of their home, causing great uproar amongst the humans.

Undoubtably, there a bodies found by dogs who aren’t with people, don’t bring home souvenirs, and don’t tell anyone about their find. But there’s no way to know how often that happens.

A few years back, we used to live on a ten acre farm with three dogs. It used to be a horse farm way back when and apparently, the sick horses were often taken into the woods and shot. Years later, our dogs would often come home proudly carrying a horse femur.

Freaked out our guests more than once.

A colleague of mine found a body while walking his dog.

That’s the sort of thing where you just can’t stop right there! Continue on!!

My Lab has found all sorts of deceased critters (birds, mice, squirrels, and a single rabbit) while walking with me in and through the woods. All she does is track scents into heavy brush. If there was a body that we were near, I have full confidence that she’d find it. Then roll around in it.

Labs - smart dogs, but boy do they do stupid things.

I know my mum found a body while out walking the dog. It was a guy who’d gassed himself in his car in the carpark at the entrance to the woods. I was only little at the time so I didn’t hear the story until much later.

I’ve definitely heard of this happening in real life on a pretty regular basis.
I’d guess the reason for it is as simple as the fact that requirements for a good body-hiding area are very similar to the requirements for a good dog-walking area.

Bob Geldof relates on of these incidents in his autobiography. Gross.