ROHNERT PARK (CBS SF) — An elderly couple who went missing Saturday was found safe Tuesday night at a motel in Paso Robles, according to the Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety.
A Paso Robles citizen who recognized the couple, Szabolcs “Sam” Walko, 85, and his 90-year-old wife Maria Walko, from news accounts called the Department of Public Safety around 10:15 p.m., Sgt. Jeff Justice said.
Maria Walko flagged down the citizen at a rest stop to ask for directions to a local motel, and the citizen contacted Public Safety Officer Brett Layn. Layn then contacted Paso Robles police, who found the couple at a
motel, public safety officials said.
Sam Walko said he and his wife wanted to get away for a drive or a mini-vacation and planned to return to Rohnert Park today. Layn then contacted the couple’s son in Hungary to inform him his parents were safe, according to public safety officials.
The search began at 4:10 a.m. Saturday when emergency crews responded to the couple’s home on Maureen Lane in Rohnert Park after Sam Walko called 911 to report his wife was possibly having a medical emergency, public safety officials said.
When emergency crews arrived, Walko said his wife had health issues but was feeling fine at the moment and didn’t need assistance.
Emergency personnel advised Walko to take his wife to a hospital to get checked out and he said he would, public safety officials said.
Personnel also contacted the couple’s son, who agreed to follow up with his parents and check on his mother’s condition.
On Sunday, the couple’s son told officers he had not been able to contact his parents, and workers at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Santa Rosa said the couple never went to the hospital. Officers went to the
couple’s home and found their 2001 Toyota Camry was not in the garage, according to public safety officials.
The couple’s son had said the pair has health issues and could become disoriented.
Investigators determined the couple withdrew a large amount of money from a Bank of America branch in Healdsburg around 4 p.m. Monday and learned that the couple mentioned Maria had a doctor’s appointment at Kaiser.
However, the hospital said that was not the case, Justice said.
Investigators checked to see if the couple was still in the Healdsburg area, but neither Sam nor Maria Walker had a cellphone that could have tracked their movements, Justice said.
Rohnert Park public safety officers thanked the public for its concern and tips that led to the happy ending.