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Missing Elderly Couple Found Dead In Their Car

Compiled From Wire Services

A couple who left their east Texas home for a fiddling festival 15 miles away were found dead in their car in Arkansas, a wrenching end to two weeks of searching.

Lela and Raymond Howard, both in their 80s, apparently became disoriented and eventually drove their Oldsmobile off the road near Hot Springs, Ark., more than 350 miles from their home, police said. Their bodies were found Saturday in their car, which was hidden by dense brush.

Family members said if there was any consolation, they found it in knowing the two were together when they died.

“They were pretty much inseparable,” Cathy Drake, 53, said Sunday of her father and the woman he married in 1986 after both had lost spouses.

About two years ago, Howard, 88, was in a car accident and had to have surgery to relieve swelling in his skull, Drake said. After that, he had headaches and memory problems for which a doctor prescribed medicine he declined to take.

Lela Howard, 83, was in good shape, but had recently shown signs of forgetfulness and disorientation, especially late in the day, said Rhonda Alford, 43, one of Lela Howard’s five grandchildren.

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