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Elderly couple missing from Duluth found dead

Their vehicle was discovered in a remote location.
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An elderly couple missing from Duluth have been found dead.

Police had been searching for Ronald Tarnowski, 82, and his wife, 78-year-old Mary Tarnowski since last weekend. The couple had left home on July 29 without a cell phone and were considered vulnerable adults.

On Saturday night, the Duluth Police Department announced that Ron and Mary were found deceased. The Tarnowski's silver 2005 Chevy Tahoe had been spotted in a remote location west of Highway 2 in the Brookston area by a U.S. Border Patrol helicopter, police said.

"The investigation into their deaths continues but foul play is not suspected," the post says.

Investigators told the Duluth News Tribune the Tarnowski's SUV got stuck in a swamp after they apparently went down an overgrown trail. They believe Ron Tarnowski was going to get help when he died near the roadway. Mary Tarnowski was found dead in their vehicle, the paper says. 

Ron had early stage dementia and Mary had paralysis on her right side and difficulty speaking. The couple rarely wandered far from their Duluth home, so the disappearance was described as "very unlike them."

Security footage from Country Corner – a restaurant and bar 27 miles west of Duluth – placed the couple there around 1 p.m. on July 29. A family member suggested the couple might have been on their way to Grand Rapids where their sons were in a swap meet at the fairgrounds. 

The St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office will handle the investigation.

The family posted a statement on Facebook:

"It is with great sadness that we must report that Ron and Mary Tarnowski have been found deceased in a remote area about a mile from their hunting camp.

The family would like to thank the many men and women of law enforcement, the active and retired fire fighters, St Louis County Rescue Squad, the Alzheimer's Association, and the overwhelming support of the community and the media for the diligent efforts this past week."

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