Posted: Oct 15, 2012 6:17 AM
Updated: Oct 15, 2012 6:17 AM
The golden alert for the elderly couple from Whitley County has been called off. Homer and Jeanette Martin are with family, on their way home to corbin. They were found more than 500 miles from home in Georgia.
When 80 year-old Harold Martin and his 77 year-old wife Jeanette got the idea to go visit a friend in Florida, they got in their car last Sunday and headed south, without telling anyone.
For a week, family worried. The martins have early on-set dementia.
"Just the whole thing has been so surreal," says their step-daughter, Karen Salmons.
"To think they would take off and go to Florida without really telling any of us and to be gone for that many days. I think they came to the realization today they might need to let someone know where they were at," she says.
That realization happened today, a week later, in Camden, Georgia. The Martins were on their way back from Florida when they ran out of gas and cash. Someone at a Shell station offered to help, and called family in Kentucky.
"He doesn't think they have any concept of.. that they've caused people to be alarmed. That we were worried that they were really missing," Salmons says.
Police in Georgia fed them and gave them a place to sleep until one of the Martins' sons could get to Georgia. Tonight, he's on the road with his parents, driving back to Kentucky.
"My hope, my heart wanted to know that they were okay, but to really know they were, was just an amazing feeling," Salmons says.
She says her family has a new plan: checking in on her parents on a more regular basis, and she hopes other families with elderly parents will see this story and make a change.