Lost elderly couple drive for five days and through three states before being found
Tony and Delores Amaral, both in their 80s, wound up lost while on their way to a local hospital, eventually traversing through three states before being located
An elderly couple who had planned on taking a quick trip to a local hospital ended up driving through three states after they could not remember the way back to their east Tennessee home.
The authorities eventually tracked down and found Tony and Delores Amaral, both in their 80s, in Atlanta, more than five days after they had set out in their car for the trip to the local hospital.
People reported the couple's daughter, Lisa Oelerich, speculating how such an incident could have unfolded. She revealed how it was pretty clear that her parents suffered from memory loss, telling People that the whole ordeal has been "overwhelming."
She said that one of them possibly fell inside their home, resulting in the other getting in the car to transport their partner for treatment at the UT Medical Center.
But because they forgot the way, they wound up in Chattanooga, and then in Knoxville and Middlesboro, Kentucky. From Kentucky, the couple kept driving until they eventually found themselves in Atlanta, Georgia. It could have ended up significantly worse too if Tony hadn't decided to stop and ask for directions in the city.
He reportedly spotted an officer doing a routine police stop and proceeded to seek information on how they could get back to their home in Tennessee. Police who had been alerted to their missing status then managed to track them to the Georgia capital using bank transactions.
Oelerich told WBIR it was a "miracle" that her parents were found and said the journey took a toll on their health. "My mom is doing much better today, my dad is still not so good," she said. "They have been to the doctor. Lots of tests being run and we are working with their doctor and looking into the next steps." She added, "[We] are going to throw our efforts into to getting family members the help they need. We are getting my folks taken care of."
Oelerich also admitted maybe it was time that they took away the keys to her parents' Gold PT Cruiser. "The car will go away and we’ve got to figure out what kind of help they need and what kind of help they will allow us to give them," she said.
"There’s nota lot of rights for family members when these kinds of things happen."