A 75-year-old woman and her two grandchildren have been found safe in Pinole Thursday after having been missing in Fairfield since Sunday, police said.
Sandra Young has lived with the children, ages 7 and 9, and has custody of them after their parents died in a car crash in 2012, according to Fairfield police.
Young had talked to her sister on Sunday, but the family didn't hear from her since then, and they said it was out of character for her to leave without contacting them, police said.
Police on Wednesday put out an alert asking for help in finding the grandmother and two young children, and the California Highway Patrol reported seeing their car, a green Acura TL, on eastbound Interstate Highway 80 in the Hercules area early Thursday morning.
Fairfield police said the three were found safe by Pinole police around 9:30 a.m. after Young pulled into a Shell station, went inside with one of the kids and asked the clerk to use the restroom.
Just as she did, Barbie Liden remembered she had just gotten an alert on her phone about her.
"As she walked by me I said, 'she looks familiar,'" said Liden. "I looked at my phone and called 911."
Police arrived and found them all safe. Family members said they believe she has dementia. According to them, she had food and water in the car and has been driving between Richmond and Danville and along Highway 4 – an area she’s familiar with -- all that time.