Indianapolis couple in their 70s vanish on a cross-country road trip
An elderly couple on a cross-country road trip has vanished “into thin air” somewhere in the Nevada desert.
Ronnie Barker, 72, and his wife Beverly Barker, 69, left Oregon on their way to Tuscon more than a week ago but never arrived to meet their daughters.
“It is literally like they fell off the face of the earth, like they just vanished,” the couple’s daughter, Jennifer Whaley, told KVVU. “We have hope, but as each day goes by, it’s very hard to stay positive. We’re trying.”
They were last observed in surveillance camera footage on Sunday 27 March driving along Highway 95 in a 32-foot Forest River Sunseeker motorhome.
Phone towers picked up a signal a short time later in Coledale, south of Luning, but neither the couple, their RV, or their cell phone signals have been seen or heard from since.
"It’s high desert, and it’s spread out all over the place,” Esmeralda County Sheriff Kenneth Elgan told the Indy Star. “We have 3,500 square miles and a population of just 1,000 people in Esmeralda County. There’s a lot of wide-open spaces and a lot of area to cover.”
The search includes helicopters and ground rescue teams as authorities sweep the fast desert plains for the couple, who both have diabetes and are in poor health. Mr Barker is a cancer survivor and the pair have only enough medicine to last until Friday 8 April, according to family.
A cross country road trip was the one thing Mr Barker wanted to do after retiring, and their daughters have no clue as to why they never arrived to their planned meeting in Tucson last Tuesday.
“It’s all flat. It’s all desert. So where did they go? Where did they go? They’re out in the middle of the desert. You can see for miles and a 32-foot RV, towing a car, literally vanishes into thin air. Where did they go?" Ms Whaley added to WTHR.
“The thought of them not calling anybody, it’s not them," said Whaley, crying. “They would have called and when they fall off the face of the earth, there’s a problem."