Janet DeFelice, 88, went missing June 1, 2007, from her son's home along Santa Rita Ranch Road south of Highway 46 west of Templeton.
She had just been moved by her family from Southern California to Templeton because of concerns about her dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
The family planned to place her in an elder-care facility in San Luis Obispo. But shortly after arriving at her son's house around 1 a.m. Friday, she said she wanted to go home to Costa Mesa. By 7 a.m., the family realized she was gone.
They immediately began looking for her and circulating fliers in Atascadero.
A search led by the sheriff's search-and-rescue team and involving more than 50 volunteers checked a 2,000-acre area with dogs, horses and helicopters.
She was last seen wearing white Easy Spirit tennis shoes, black sweat pants and a deep-red sweatshirt. She also took a blue leather purse and was wearing a watch on her left wrist.
She had no health problems and was used to walking about 5 miles a day.
Foul play was not suspected.
In July 2009, DeFelice's purse was found under some bushes by a person mowing the grass about a quarter of a mile away from the house.
Another search was launched, using the found purse as a starting point, but no more evidence was discovered.