Authorities found the couple’s vehicle on overgrown, abandoned driveway nearly 30 miles from their Minnesota home.
Ron and Mary Tarnowski spent their days confined almost entirely to their home in Duluth, Minn.
Decades ago, at age 42, Mary Tarnowski suffered from a stroke that left her paralyzed on the right side of her body, making it difficult for her to move or speak. Her husband, Ron, served as her caretaker for more than 35 years, assisting her with daily tasks and rarely leaving her side.
But in recent years, Ron Tarnowski, an Air Force veteran and retired captain for the local fire department, began showing signs of early-onset dementia, his son and police told The Washington Post. Suddenly, the tough man with a “commanding presence,” adventurous spirit and the build of a former football player needed to be taken care of, too.
Getting around became even more difficult for the Tarnowskis — Mary, 78, and Ron, 81. The couple hardly ever left the home which their son, Karl Tarnowski, built adjacent to his own so he could keep an eye on them.
Occasionally, Mary Tarnowski would ask her husband to go for a drive, perhaps to nearby restaurants. But they never stayed away for very long and would always be back well before nightfall.