ESMERALDA COUNTY, Nev. (KLAS) — New details are emerging about the mysterious disappearance of an Indiana couple and the death of a 72-year-old man. The Esmeralda County Sheriff, Ken Elgan, tells 8 News Now that foul play is not suspected.
Tuesday night, the nephew of Ronnie Barker, 72, and his aunt Beverly Barker, 70, told 8 News Now the couple were found and Ronnie Barker had died. Beverly Barker was airlifted to a Reno hospital and was doing “OK.”
Tuesday night, a person answering the phone at the Esmeralda County Sheriff’s Department said the RV had not been found. Now, the sheriff says it was found around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday.
The Barker’s Kia Soul, which they were towing behind the RV they were traveling in, was found about two miles away from the RV around 4 p.m. Tuesday. “Beverly was alive and in good spirits considering what took place,” Sheriff Elgan told 8 News Now.
The Sheriff added, “Everyone involved would like to give condolences to the family of Ronnie and Beverly Baker. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during these trying times.”
At this time there is no information as to why Ronnie Barker passed away or other details about why and how they ended up in an extremely remote area of Esmeralda County.
Ronnie and Beverly Barker left Albany, Oregon, on March 26 heading for Fallon, Nevada, followed by a stop in Las Vegas before continuing on to Tucson on March 29, where they were expected to meet with friends. The Barkers never made it to Tucson.
The Nevada Civil Air Patrol (CAP) assisted with the search today but it is not known if one of the air crews spotted the RV or not. According to a spokesperson the CAP assisted with the following personnel and equipment:
- 24 personnel, from Reno, Las Vegas, and Hawthorne.
- Four aircraft were used today, with two additional aircraft on standby.
- Aircraft used were Cessna 182 Turbo, Cessna Turbo 206 and Gippsland GA8.
- Total aircrew time was approximately 12-hours accumulative on Tuesday.
- Terrain varied from open desert to a mountainous region. Covering highways, off-road trails and densely wooded high terrain areas.
This is a developing story and this page will be updated as needed as new information is confirmed by 8 News Now.