Man dies from thirst and starvation day before his wife and he were rescued after RV got STUCK for 10 days
Beverly Barker, an Indiana woman, and her husband, Ronnie Barker, were found ten days after they went missing on a West Coast RV trip. The couple, who got lost following their GPS, was found on Tuesday, April 5. The 70-year-old woman was airlifted to the hospital where she was treated and ultimately released on Wednesday. 72-year-old Ronnie, on the other hand, died on Monday, just a day before rescuers found the couple.
Beverly and Ronnie left Albany, Oregon, on March 26 for the 1,300-mile journey to Tucson, Arizona, where they planned to visit friends on March 29. Their itinerary included planned stops in Fallon, Nevada, and Nellis Air Force Base outside Las Vegas, followed by their arrival in Tucson, reports Daily Mail. The couple spent 10 days in their stranded SUV after it got stuck in the mud on Red Mountain, near Silver Peak, on March 27.
They neither had blankets nor food. There was no cell service, and the temperatures dropped to 27 degrees. Since thirst was more of an issue than being cold, Beverly used her N95 mask to scoop up snow for water, which helped keep her alive. But her husband became severely dehydrated and reportedly died from the lack of food and water.
"It was a religious experience on that mountain in so many ways. It was one of those things where the GPS said, 'Go this way' and they went that way. They saw other vehicles and I think she said they saw other campers. Their RV got stuck that night. The next morning, they got into the SUV they were towing to drive to help. They didn't think about bringing food, or water or blankets. They just made this route, 'We'll just go back the same way' they came," the couple's nephew, Travis Peters, who spoke to his aunt, told WTHR.
"They would snuggle in the back seat of the Kia. As Ronnie got worse, they were trying their best to huddle together and stay warm. She had a walker and would make it up the hill and had a couple sacks and put snow in and make it back down. As the days and the nights passed, my uncle Ronnie told her he was dying. And she said, 'I know.' They knew it was dehydration," he added. Peters revealed that Beverly read the Bible to Ronnie as he passed away just after 3 pm on Monday, April 4. She also told her family she took a photo to remember the time he died.
"She remembered the SOS that Uncle Ronnie taught her. Beeping that horn is what brought rescuers to her. I'm amazed at the strength that woman had up there. I have no doubt that it was the Lord carrying her to that water - to that snow - to make water that kept her alive. He told her he loved her. She said he was totally at peace with leaving our earth and going on to Heaven," Peters concluded.
The official statement says, "The family of Ronnie and Beverly Barker wish to thank those who participated in the search and rescue operations to locate our beloved family members. The outpouring of support was nothing short of incredible by the members of the local community. Our hearts are full because of the efforts that were put forth to help us bring Ron and Bev back home again to Indiana. While the loss of Ronnie Barker is tragic, we are grateful that Beverly was found alive and can now begin her recovery from this tragic ordeal. We are grateful that Beverly will be able to fill in the blanks and give us the answers that we all so desperately seek. Ronnie Barker loved his family and loved his country. He served our nation proud over his 26-year career in the United States Air Force. Ronnie was a believer in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He was proud of his faith and was always willing to give to others. He was funny, witty, and was the spark of energy that everyone gravitated toward. People just loved and wanted to be around Ron Barker."
It continued, "Our family grieves over this news, and we question the roadblocks that seemed to stifle the search from the moment we were made aware of their disappearance. It's our hope that Ronnie Barker's legacy will be changing policy that will allow for a more expeditious approach to locating missing persons of all ages for both non-residents and residents of the state of Nevada. We call upon the citizens of Nevada to stand up and demand that changes be made at ALL levels of Public Safety to avoid the hurdles that our family faced as we attempted to bring resources into the search of our loved ones. Fly high MSgt Ronnie E. Barker, you served us all well. Ronnie Ercel Barker 11/21/1949 - 4/4/2022."
Peters started a fundraiser on GoFundMe which reads, "Hello, my name is Travis Peters and I'm raising money to help cover the costs of bringing Ronnie Barker back home to his final resting place in Indiana. During the final days of March 2022, our family came face to face with the unimaginable. Ron and Beverly Barker, loved by so many, disappeared on March 27th in Central Nevada while on an RV trip. On April 5th, after nine days of being missing, they were located on a mountain west of Silver Peak, Nevada. Miraculously, Beverly survived the ordeal and is currently recovering in Reno. Unfortunately, our hearts were broken to learn that Ronnie Barker passed away on April 4th, just 26 hours before rescuers located them."
"Now, we face the final leg of bringing Ronnie and Beverly, back home again to Indiana. To ease the financial strain of this tragedy, we are giving people a way to help out. We have been overwhelmed by the support throughout this ordeal and sincerely appreciate any help you may be able to provide with our travel and associated expenses. Any remaining funds beyond our expenses will be donated in Ronnie E. Barker's name and memory to an organization to aid in the search and rescue of missing persons. Thank you and God Bless you. The family of Ronnie and Beverly Barker," the fundraiser concluded.