CARROLLTON, Texas — William Gomez and his two grandchildren have been found safe in Washington County, Wisconsin, north of Milwaukee and 860 miles from home.
The trio disappeared on Sunday afternoon after Gomez said he was taking the youngsters to a local park and then to a shopping mall in Lewisville.
The Washington County Sheriff's Office confirmed that Mr. Gomez flagged down a deputy on Highway 33 at 5:06 p.m. Tuesday and asked for directions back to Dallas. The deputy reported that all three were in good condition and were taken to a safe location.
The family said William Gomez was taken to a hospital for observation.
The discovery ends a three-day automotive odyssey that took Gomez and his grandchildren through Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois before their discovery in Wisconsin.
William Gomez, eight-year-old Dominique and seven-year-old Marcus will remain in Wisconsin until family members can come to pick them up.
"It's great to know that they're safe, that they're not on the road, having an accident or something," said Maria Gomez, William's wife. "I'm surprised he drove all the way there. It's just amazing."
On Tuesday, evening family members finally received a phone call from Wisconsin and were able to talk with the children.
"It's like when hearing your kids, you're taken from zero to full power in a lightning flash," said Jose Gomez, the father of Dominique and Marcus.
Family members had not yet talked with William Gomez as of Tuesday night. They hope to know more about what happened in the coming days.
"It's wonderful to know that he's safe and that he's no longer driving and that he hasn't gotten into an accident," Maria Gomez said. quot;He kept thinking he's driving to Carrollton while he was driving all the way across the country without realizing it, I guess."
The Gomez family is leaving for Wisconsin on Wednesday and hope to be back before the end of the week.