Missing 84-year-old found safe miles away

An elderly at-risk woman missing since Sunday night out of San Leandro was found safe across the Bay in Menlo Park, law enforcement officials said today.

Esther Velasquez, 84, was last seen around 11:30 p.m. Sunday driving a 2004 Buick Century in the area of Merced Street in San Leandro, according to police. Velasquez was following her daughter as they drove from the Washington Manor area toward a rental car company in Oakland, police said.

Velasquez’s daughter reported her mother missing when she did not arrive at the destination, police said. Velasquez was considered at-risk because she is experiencing early stages of dementia, according to police.

San Leandro detectives learned that Velasquez’s car was captured on an Automated License Plate Reader database and camera at 5 a.m. on Monday morning driving through an intersection in Piedmont, police said.

How Velasquez ended up in Menlo Park — 25 miles away from San Leandro and across the Bay — was not immediately clear.

Detectives worked with Velasquez’s family, as well as the Piedmont and Oakland police departments, to find her and return her safely to her family.

— Hannah Albarazi, Bay City News