Dogs Aid in Search for Missing 89-Year-Old Woman

ELK GROVE -- The search for the aunt of a local congresswoman continued on Sunday. Eighty-nine-year-old Carol Matsui, the aunt-in-law of Congresswoman Doris Matsui, has been missing since Wednesday afternoon.

Sunday, friends and family focused on the area of Bond and Bradshaw roads in Elk Grove, an area where search dogs have picked up her scent.

"We started from Golden 1 Credit Union this morning," said Linda Callaway.

That bank is the last place anyone saw 89-year-old Carol Matsui. But Jericho the dog has been able to smell her.

"He's a lab Doberman mix, and I've been using him on searches for about six years," Callaway said.

Callaway volunteered Jericho and her other search dog, Coco, to aid in the search for Matsui in the housing developments and rural mixed area of East Elk Grove.

"They're urban trained dogs. They're trained for crowds, people, exhaust fumes," Callaway said.

The dogs may have picked up Matsui's trail.

"We got scent from Bradshaw coming south, and so we're just hopscotching with the dogs trying to figure out what direction she went," Callaway said.

It is help that Matsui's son, Roger, is happy to get, now having looked anywhere he could think of.

"We searched behind buildings, we asked some homeless people. We've been searching canals," Roger Matsui said.

However, dogs have been used in the search before. And dogs tracking scents is not an exact science.

"Scent is strange because it flows out on wind currents," Callaway said.

However, Jericho may be on the right path. While handing out flyers near Albiani Middle School, volunteers found a witness.

"There was a person who said from one of the flyers that we were handing out today, said they could have sworn they seen my mom in this area on Thursday," Roger Matsui said.

The heat of the day unfortunately caused the dogs to lose the scent.

"The heat, it raises the scent up, if it was staying cold, the scent stays down because the moisture," Roger Matsui said.

But he says he's not giving up hope on finding his mother alive and well.

"Never give up. Until the time comes, it comes. I'm just hoping on the positive side that I do find my mom," he said.

Carol Matsui was last seen in a red jacket Wednesday afternoon. Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to call police.