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New Silver Alert Program Helps Find Missing Elderly

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ALHAMBRA (CBSLA.com) — When children are reported missing an Amber Alert is issued to help find them.

Now, a similar system is being put in place for missing elderly residents: it’s called the Silver Alert.

Alhambra resident Cyndy Avila said she and her family wish they had more help when her parents, both in their 90’s, disappeared in July.

“At that point I was numb. I didn’t know what to do,” Avila said. “Maybe they tried to call, maybe they got into an accident.”

Amado and Michaela Avila had left their Alhambra home and were  last seen at a gas station in Santa Monica.

“We didn’t eat, we didn’t sleep,” Avila said.

Two days after they were reported missing, her parents were found, disoriented, by a Good Samaritan near Lake Arrowhead.

Avila said, “The fire department actually said we found em and it was like, ‘Oh my God!'”

She said she was grateful to everyone who helped search for her parents but only wished she and her family had more help in their search.

“Time is of the essence in these cases,” the Alhambra resident said.

Starting in 2013, California will implement the Silver Alert program, designed to help find people 65 and older. Similar to the Amber Alert system, the Silver Alert accelerates the search by using public broadcast systems and freeway signs to get the word out.

“I think that would be awesome,” Avila said. “That way it can at least give a description of the vehicle, the license.”

Avila’s parents just celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary. She says she’s glad to know there is more help out there for her family and others — just in case.

She said, “I’m just so blessed, and thank God they were found.”

RELATED STORY: Elderly Missing Alhambra Couple Found Safe In Lake Arrowhead

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