Elderly woman who survived RV disappearance reveals her SOS after husband died

The Indianapolis woman who was found with her husband over a week after the couple went missing while on a road trip in Nevada spoke out about how her husband would tap out an ‘SOS’ on their RV’s horn.

Beverly, 69, and her husband Ron Barker, 72, were found Tuesday on a remote mountain, nine days after they were last seen or heard from. Beverly was airlifted to a hospital in Reno, where he was treated, while Ron died Monday afternoon as the couple waited for someone to hear their call for help.

On Wednesday, Beverly spoke with NBC’s Indianapolis affiliate WTHR 13, where her nephew Travis Peters works as a photographer and editor. Her nephew explained that ‘bad GPS directions’ led to them getting lost.

‘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,’ Peters said.

The couple got lost on March 27, which is when family and friends last heard from them. That same day their RV got stuck in mud. The following morning they got into the KIA SUV they had been towing and went out to look for help.

‘They didn’t think about bringing food, or water or blankets,’ their nephew said. ‘They just made this route, “We’ll just go back the same way” they came.’

About two miles from the RV, their SUV also got stuck, just west of Silver Peak, a remote part of Nevada.

Down on their luck, Ron began honking out an SOS.

‘This is so my Uncle Ronnie. He started tapping SOS on the horn every ten minutes. He would pound SOS out,’ Peters said.

 Their calls for help went unanswered, and the couple was without cell service in the remote, mountainous area.

‘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,’ Peters said.

Beverly, who uses a walker or wheelchair to get around, would go around to get snow for the couple to drink. She used N-95 masks they had in the car to eat and tried to melt snow in water bottles to drink.

‘As the days and the nights passed, my Uncle Ronnie told her he was dying,’ Peters said. ‘And she said, “I know.” They knew it was dehydration.’

As his condition worsened, Beverly read him Bible verses. He died around 3pm on Monday afternoon.

Beverly continued honking an SOS in hopes that someone would hear her — and on Tuesday search and rescue volunteers following the car’s tracks were able to locate her.

She was airlifted her off the mountain to a hospital in Reno, and later released from care on Wednesday.

The couple’s family said in a said in a statement that they hope his legacy includes changing policies in Nevada to create a faster approach to finding missing persons.

‘Out of Ronnie’s passing, there’s going to be good that comes from it. There’s going to be changes that the way Nevada handles missing persons, I can assure you of that,’ Peters said.

Ronnie died at the age of 72. He served in the US Air Force for 26 years.

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