Missing Sonoma County couple found safe in Paso Robles

An elderly Northern California couple missing under suspicious circumstances since Sunday were found safe after a Paso Robles resident recognized them at a local rest stop.

The Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety said in a news release that emergency medical personnel went to the home of Szabolcs “Sam” Walko, 85, and Maria Walko, 90, on Saturday after receiving a report that Maria Walko was having a medical emergency.

When they arrived, Maria Walko turned them away and said she would have her husband take her to a local hospital if she needed. The next day, the couple’s son reported them missing, saying they had never gone to the hospital.

On Tuesday night, the Sonoma County city received a call from a Paso Robles resident who was flagged down at a rest stop by Maria Walko, who asked for directions to a local motel. The resident reportedly recognized the couple from the news and notified Paso Robles police, who found them safe at the motel.

“Sam” Walko told officers the couple simply wanted to get away on a “mini vacation” and would call their son, according to the release.