The family of an Indiana couple found in Nevada is reeling after learning their tragic story of survival while lost in their RV. Before they were reported missing, Beverly and Ron Barker had last been seen at a gas station in Nevada. After seven days of being lost in the wilderness, the couple was found—unfortunately not in time to avert tragedy.
On March 27, 2022, Ron and Beverly were on a road trip to Tucson, Arizona where they hoped to visit with friends. They took off from a California campground in their RV towing a Kia SUV in the back. They were expected to arrive in Tucson on March 29, but never showed up. When the RV turned up stuck in gravel along their route without the SUV attached and no Ron or Beverly in sight, it raised more questions than answers. Details released after the Indiana couple was found have illuminated the more harrowing aspects of their story.
Ron and Beverly were relying on the GPS to help them navigate through Nevada, but according to Beverly’s nephew, Travis Peters, the GPS had not been set to highway mode, which would may have provided them with a safer route to travel given that they were in an RV with a vehicle trailer. However, Ron and Beverly did not immediately think the route was dangerous, seeing other cars, and even another RV on the same route as them. At some point, the RV became stuck in the sand and gravel on the side of the road, forcing the couple to stop the drive for the day and sleep in the RV overnight. The following morning, they unhooked their SUV and set off in search of help, believing it would be a quick business of finding help.
Unfortunately, Ron and Beverly took another wrong turn, and the SUV also got stuck around 2 miles from where the RV was parked. Unable to get out and walk for help the couple were forced to sit in the SUV and honk the horn—signaling S.O.S.—every ten minutes or so. Dehydration soon set in, and Beverly had to use her walker to get to a snowbank and use an N95 mask to scoop snow into bags so they could melt it for drinking water. “My uncle Ronnie was dying, and there was nothing they could do by honk that horn and try to melt the snow for drink,” Travis Peters wrote on Facebook.
It went on like that for days, with Ronnie slowly succumbing to dehydration. Ronnie read form his Bible to comfort them both while they waited for rescue, hoping help would arrive in time. Tragically, Ronnie passed away Monday afternoon, less than a day before the rescuers found their RV. Rescuers were able to hear Beverly honking the horn after finding the RV. Beverly was airlifted to a hospital in Reno for evaluation.
Ron and Beverly’s family members have expressed frustration with the fact that a Silver Alert was not issued for Ron and Beverly at the time they were reported missing, and wished that the authorities had taken their concerns more seriously when they were reported missing. “Had proper steps been taken from the moment they were reported as missing, my uncle would be alive today. Your inability to deal with this situation may have cost my uncle his life. I hope that haunts you for the rest of yours.”