Authorities search for at-risk elderly couple missing from Rohnert Park

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ByAlan Wang KGO logo
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
At-risk elderly couple missing from Rohnert Park
A statewide alert has been issued for people to be on the lookout for an elderly couple.

ROHNERT PARK, Calif. (KGO) -- A statewide Silver Alert has been issued for people to be on the lookout for a missing Sonoma County elderly couple. Sam and Maria Walko have not been seen since Saturday. Police say they're both suffering from early stages of dementia and they could be lost.

"I call it Hungarian garden talk. So she yells from the inside of the house and he yells back from the outside of the house," said Al Paniagua, a neighbor.

Paniagua is describing his next-door neighbors who have been missing and are now part of a state-wide search. Sam Walko is 85 years old and his wife Maria Walko is 90.

Sam was supposed to take Maria to the hospital on Saturday because they thought she had a medical emergency, but the couple never showed up. Their car is gone and the couple is nowhere to be found.

"They may be lost, confused, stranded somewhere, so we just want to find them right now," said Rohnert Park police Sgt. Jerrod Marshall.

The couple emigrated from Hungary. Both are very independent and Sam is a Holocaust survivor.

"He had always said, 'Whenever I'd look at challenges or faced struggles in my life...' he always said to himself, 'If I can survive the concentration camp, I can survive anything,'" Paniagua said.

Police believe the couple may be driving their faded green 2001 Toyota Camry with license plate 4NHV446.