A familiar homeless man in Chesterfield County, Virginia, who lived in his pickup truck with his cherished border collie, was found dead in the parking lot of a Chattanooga Plaza Wal-Mart on Dec. 31.
A passerby overheard the dog barking with what appeared to be a lifeless man inside a Ford pickup on New Year’s Eve.
John Johnson, a Wal-Mart greeter who had befriended the man known as Buck, or Uncle Buck, went to examine the scene and discovered that Buck had died and called 911 at around 12:20 p.m. Authorities have ruled out murder, reports WTVR-TV.
Relatives of the man told WTVR-TV that "Buck" was 68-year-old Leslie Floyd Rivers, who had endured a series of heart and diabetes-related complications and had been living in his truck for about 10 years, mainly by choice.
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They said various social service groups had attempted to assist him, but Rivers favored his unattached lifestyle and declined to go to a shelter where he couldn’t have his beloved dog, Tara, by his side.
The border collie was taken by Chesterfield animal control, and was adopted by family members, on Jan. 2, reports WTVR-TV.
Buck was widely known by those who shopped at the Chattanooga Wal-Mart and other nearby establishments where he would park his truck.