NEW YORK (1010 WINS/WCBS 880/CBS 2) — In a stroke of good fortune a missing elderly husband and wife from Long Island were found unharmed in the Westchester County town of Eastchester late Friday night.
Westchester County Police Department officials located the couple and reported they were in good condition. No other details were immediately available.
Nassau County Police had issued a Silver Alert for John, 85, and Marian Rogan, 86, who had been missing since Thursday evening.
They were last seen leaving the Bristal Assisted Living facility, located at 400 County Line Road in Massapequa.
The facility issued a statement saying the couple had left the building in their car Thursday night around 6:10 p.m. and were expected back around 9 p.m. When they didn’t return, officials called police.
Bristal Assisted Living also said residents of the center were “free to come and go as they please.”
The couple’s son-in-law, Vincent Benenati had told WCBS 880 his in-laws were “confused” and explained the difficulty in trying to track them down.
“They don’t have a credit card so they couldn’t find them, they don’t have an EZ Pass and they don’t have a cell phone,” Benenati said.
Benenati also said police might have missed an opportunity to find the couple Thursday night some 60 miles away.
“The police department out in Quogue pulled my in-laws over last night for like erratic driving. My mother-in-law was driving and she said that she was very tired. Then she was trying to find a hotel and the officer gave her directions to a hotel. I guess when he got back to his car, he said six minutes later, he realized that there was a Silver Alert out on them. He went to find them and he couldn’t find them,” Benenati explained.
And the Rogans apparently never went to the hotel.
“According to accounts relayed to us by family members, police escorted the Rogans to an area hotel. We are told that later, when officers were made aware of the Nassau Police missing persons report, they returned to the hotel, only to find out the Rogans had never checked in,” Richard Youngberg, Excutive Director of the Bristal Assisted Living Center said.
Police Commissioner Lawrence Mulvey said the case highlighted the importance of Nassau’s REACH (Return Every Adult and Child Home) program. Family members are able to register their loved ones with special needs, and if they are lost or missing, an alert goes out instantaneously to police agencies across the state, CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan reported.
“So the REACH program enables us to, in a very timely manner, get an alarm out with a photo [and] with pertinent information,” Mulvey told McLogan.