This should drive home a few points, most important being that communications through means you have complete control over have advantages. The second is that thinking outside of the box, reverting to old, open-source tech can be a challenge to those accustomed to tracking through conventional options.
While we don’t have the details of exactly what she was doing, and likely never will, the takeaways is that someone advised her to get off the internet. I would not be surprised if they had set up a simplex VHF packet network to pass files. Nothing a thrift store or craigslist netbook, baofeng, and signalink can’t be capable of. Include some type of directional antenna and you’re frying with peanut oil.