- Barbara Thomas disappeared while hiking in the Mojave Desert near San Bernardino, California, on July 12.
- She was hiking with her husband, Robert, who said she walked ahead of him when he stopped to take a photo.
- Robert, from Bullhead City, Arizona, told Inside Edition that authorities see him as the prime suspect in the disappearance of his wife.
- He said he took a polygraph test and failed, but he said he’s innocent and told detectives sleep deprivation had caused him to fail.
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The husband of a 69-year-old woman who disappeared while hiking in California’s Mojave Desert on July 12 has insisted he’s innocent after he reportedly failed a polygraph test organized by investigators.
Robert Thomas, from Bullhead City, Arizona, told Inside Edition on Wednesday that authorities see him as the prime suspect in the disappearance of his wife, Barbara Thomas.
The couple got separated while hiking in the Mojave Desert near San Bernardino on July 12.
Temperatures were over 100 degrees that day, and Barbara was only wearing a bikini, hiking boots, and a baseball cap, the New York Post reported.
Robert said they were making their way back to their camper when Barbara walked ahead of him when he stopped to take a photo of a rock formation.
He said he rounded the trail’s corner and couldn’t find Barbara.
“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,” he told Inside Edition.
Robert called 911, and launched a search for Barbara, but as of July 19 she has not been found.
Robert said police believe he’s a suspect in Barbara’s disappearance because “it was just the two of us” out on the hike.
He said he took a polygraph test and failed, but told detectives he hadn’t been sleeping. Robert told KNTV that he believes Barbara may have been picked up by a stranger – their camper was parked near a road.
“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 said.
Anyone with information has been asked to call San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department’s Colorado River Station at 760-326-9200 or Sheriff’s Dispatch at 760-956-5001.
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