December 26, 2012
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
(503) 731-3020 ext 247
NOTE: The following news release was sent 12/27/12 to correct information provided in the initial news release.
CORRECTION: The original news release erroneously listed the couple were found about 11:45 p.m. at night. The actual time their vehicle was reported as stalled in a traffic lane on Interstate 5 near Woodburn was 6:30 a.m. Christmas morning, twelve hours after they left to drive to a family member's home in Redding, California. We apologize for the reported time error.
UPDATE: A family member advised OSP Thursday morning that the elderly couple were picked up by a relative and are now being driven back to Redding. The couple is doing better and family members have requested OSP not release their names or family contact information.
An elderly couple reported missing and possibly endangered out of Redding, California were found safe Christmas morning in their vehicle on Interstate 5 near Woodburn about 400 miles from where they left the night before for what would have been a ten minute drive to a daughter's house for dinner.
On December 25, 2012 at approximately 6:30 a.m., Oregon State Police (OSP) were contacted regarding a vehicle stalled in the far right northbound lane of Interstate 5 near milepost 271. Before arriving about 30 minutes later, OSP learned the couple in the 2002 Ford Taurus may need medical care. When OSP Sergeant Craig Ball arrived on scene, the car had been pushed onto the right shoulder and was not blocking a traffic lane. Woodburn police and fire personnel also responded to assist.
It was apparent the elderly couple was confused and officers determined their car ran out of gas. Further checking confirmed the 85-year old male and 83-year old female was reported missing by family members to Redding, California Police Department on December 24th at 7:00 p.m. A daughter told police her step-father picked up his wife from a local care facility for a short drive to her home for a 6:30 p.m. Christmas Eve dinner and didn't arrive.
The couple was transported by ambulance to Salem Hospital for a medical evaluation. Family members drove to Oregon and picked them up Thursday morning.