On May 31, 2018, a Silver Alert was issued for 75-year-old Margarita Sanchez. Sanchez went missing in Gilbert, Arizona and was found safely over 300 miles away in Beaumont, California.
From the story on KTAR News:
PHOENIX — A Silver Alert issued early Thursday was canceled after a Gilbert woman with dementia was found safely the same day in California.
Margarita Sanchez, 75, who had last been seen the previous evening at her church, was located during a traffic stop in Beaumont, around 80 miles east of Los Angeles and more than 300 miles from Gilbert.
Sanchez may have left St. Anne’s Catholic Church near Elliot and Lindsay roads around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday. A witness told police that Sanchez left for home but went in a direction than usual. When she didn’t come home, family members called authorities.
Sanchez, also known as Maria, is 5 feet, 2 inches tall, weighs 160 pounds, has brown eyes, silver hair and was driving a black 1998 Honda Civic.
The American Silver Alert Coalition endorsed AB 643, which expands the California Silver Alert program to activate an alert via Changeable Message Signs (CMS).
In a letter to California State Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian, ASAC Executive Director Wyeth Ruthven noted “AB 643 ensures that California is taking all possible measures in finding a missing person. By including Changeable Message Signs in the dissemination of Silver Alerts, AB 643 adds a vital tool to locate missing seniors, a tool that has been used effectively in other states.” Ruthven noted the successful use of Changeable Message Signs by the Florida Silver Alert program, where 93 successful recoveries were directly attributable to the use of dynamic highway message signs or other actions initiated by state agencies. By contrast, 31 resulted in an indirect recovery, defined as a person recovered through the actions of the local agency in coordination with the Silver Alert Plan, primarily through law enforcement communications or media.
During the hearing, Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia discussed the 2014 case of Dean Abney. The 85-year-old man went missing in Yucca Valley, California, and was later found safe 950 miles away in Amarillo, Texas.
Video of committee consideration of AB 643 is available here.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpCyN9iOFPw]
A recent article in the Orange County Register reviews the progress of the California Silver Alert program on its 2-year anniversary.
The American Silver Alert Coalition praised California for its successful adoption of Silver Alert:
The American Silver Alert Coalition reports that 26 states have adopted Silver Alert programs, and nine others have similar missing-seniors programs. Executive Director Wyeth Ruthven said since 2009, the coalition has documented 83 cases in 17 states where seniors have gone missing in one state and been located in another.
The article pointed to a high success rate among California Silver Alerts:
Data from the CHP show that in the program’s first year 161 Silver Alerts were issued statewide, with one case still open. Nelson said the remaining cases have been closed, and all subjects were located. In 2014, 164 Silver Alerts were issued, Nelson said, with three cases still open. All other subjects from the 2014 activations were located, he said.