Barbara Thomas disappeared last Friday as she and her husband, Robert, were hiking in the Mojave Desert

By Joelle Goldstein
July 17, 2019 07:31 PM
Barbara Thomas
San Bernardino County Sheriffs Department

Authorities are currently searching for an Arizona woman who they say disappeared last week during a hike with her husband.

Barbara Thomas was last seen on July 12 as she was hiking in the Mohave Desert, North America’s driest desert located in southeastern California near the border of Nevada, according to a press release from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Colorado River Station.

Around 2:30 p.m., as the Bullhead, Az. couple were approximately 20 miles north of the I-40 freeway, officials said Barbara and her husband Robert were suddenly separated. The 69-year-old woman has not been seen since.

In the days following her disappearance, the Sheriff’s Department has been looking for her with help from Search and Rescue members, deputies, K9s, Sheriff’s Aviation (helicopter) and Park Rangers.

“Nearly 20 Search and Rescue volunteers and deputies assigned to the River Station are continuing the search,” authorities announced on Tuesday. “Off-road vehicles are being utilized to allow searchers to cover additional area.”

Video footage of their search was also posted on Twitter on Wednesday.

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While the search has been underway for five days, officials said temperatures in the desert have reached above 100 degrees at least twice.

Speaking to KNTV Las Vegas on Monday, Robert explained that he and his wife drove their trailer to the area on Friday and expected to go on a short, two-mile hike.

Toward the end of their hike, Robert told the outlet he stopped to take a photo while Barbara continued forward.

“By the time I took the picture, she was continuing on because she [wanted to go towards] the RV and she rounded the corner and I lost sight of her,” he shared, noting that when he returned to the locked trailer with no Barbara in sight, he called 911.

Robert said he believes his wife, who was wearing a bikini and carrying a beer in her hand, might have been picked up while crossing the road to get back to their trailer and taken to Las Vegas.

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“I just want my wife back and if somebody out there has her, which I feel somebody does, please drop her off at a safe place where she can contact us and that’s it,” he pleaded to KNTV.

According to the Sheriff’s Department, Barbara was “last seen wearing a black bikini, a red baseball cap and tan hiking boots with black socks,” and does not have any supplies or a cell phone with her.

Anyone with information regarding Barbara’s whereabouts is urged to contact the Colorado River Station at (760) 326-9200 or Colorado River Station Sheriff’s Dispatch at (760) 956-5001.