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Man, 82, who prompted state's first 'silver alert' found safe

January 2, 2013 |  4:05 pm

An 82-year-old Elk Grove man whose disappearance prompted the state’s first “silver alert” was located Wednesday after being reported missing by family members.

Robert Grappi was last seen Dec. 31 at about 3:30 p.m. after he got into an argument with his wife. He left his home near Sacramento and was believed to be driving to his son’s residence in Nevada County, according to the Elk Grove Police Department.

The incident prompted authorities to issue the state’s first “silver alert,” which is an emergency system that enlists the public’s help in locating missing adults over the age of 65 who are believed to be in danger.

The alerts are similar to the Amber Alert system which notifies the public of cases of abducted children, but a silver alert does not show up on electronic highway signs, said Jaime Coffee, a spokeswoman for the California Highway Patrol.

Grappi, who suffers from a medical condition requiring regular medication and possibly dementia, was found in Grass Valley during a traffic stop at 3:15 a.m.

Authorities in the area had already been alerted that Grappi may be close because of two charges to the man’s credit card at gas stations, said Officer Christopher Trim with the Elk Grove Police Department. Grappi was taken to a local hospital for a medical evaluation.

“He was safely located, which is good news for him and his family,” Coffee said.


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--Nicole Santa Cruz