California cops dismiss husband's claim that his bikini-clad wife, 69, who went missing during their desert hike was abducted
Robert Thomas, Barbara's husband, said she had vanished on July 12 while they were out hiking. He claimed that she had turned a corner, beer in hand and while he was taking a picture, he turned around to find her gone
The California police have dismissed claims of a husband who said that his 69-year-old wife was kidnapped from the Mojave desert. The husband, Robert Thomas, said that Barbara Thomas had vanished 10 days ago on July 12 when they were out hiking. He claimed that she had turned a corner, beer in hand and while he was taking a picture, he turned around to find her gone. She had been wearing a black bikini, he said. A search was carried out in the blistering heat of the desert, but she wasn't found.
The search is still ongoing with police dogs also attempting to locate her. However, the chances of finding her alive are decreasing.
While Robert believes that Barbara had been abducted, the police have refuted that theory. "We don't think she was abducted. It's a very remote area. There's no evidence to suggest she was abducted," San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Jodi Miller told Daily Mail. Miller also said that the kidnapping theories had risen from another case about 300 miles away, where a woman was rescued after several days. She had said that she ran after being chased by a man with a knife.
"When that information started coming out about [the other woman], that's what created the speculation [that Barbara had been abducted]. But our investigation does not indicate any signs that she was abducted," Miller said.
"It's our understanding that she didn't have any water or any supplies or anything [on her]. Our hikers will continue to go out in the hopes of locating her, but you're talking over a week now. It's very difficult," she said.
Robert, in the meantime, said in an interview with Insider Edition saying that he had failed the polygraph test and was the prime suspect. "Yes, I took a polygraph test. They told me I was being deceptive. I know that polygraphs aren't 100 percent and I hadn't had any sleep. The police consider me the prime suspect because it was just the two of us."
He described the moment he couldn't find his wife. "I hollered her name and I waved my arms, and I looked around the area and I saw that she wasn’t anywhere around. She didn't respond. I got really panicky," Robert said, "I feel like someone did pick her up because she was wearing a bikini, she had a beer in her hand and she was ahead of me and she had to cross that road," he said.
Spokeswoman Miller, however, said that due process was being followed in the investigation. "In any missing person, you will ask and interview the family of that missing person as well as the person last seen with that person," she said and in this case, both parties are her husband.
Barbara is 5'9, 130 lbs. has blonde hair and green eyes. Last seen wearing a black bikini, a red baseball cap and tan hiking boots with black socks. Anyone with information regarding Barbara's whereabouts is urged to contact the Colorado River Station at (760)326-9200 or Sheriff's Dispatch at (760)956-5001.