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Missing elderly man found dead in California desert, wife found alive

The couple was last seen Tuesday morning at their Palmdale home, about 45 miles away from the open area of desert where they were discovered.

An elderly man was found dead in a southern California desert after deputies found his wife alive, ending a nearly week-long search.

The body of Keith Davis, 87, was discovered around 8:50 p.m. PT (11:50 p.m. ET) on Saturday in an open desert area in Adelanto, about 45 miles from his Palmdale home, officials said.

Keith's 91-year-old wife, Pauline, was found earlier Saturday and taken to the hospital for treatment, a coroner for the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department said in a press release.

Keith Davis and Pauline Laura Davisvia NBC Los Angeles

Authorities said a resident driving an all-terrain vehicle in the desert just before 5:30 p.m. PT (8:30 p.m. ET) stumbled upon the couple's unattended car and called 911. A deputy sheriff responded and found that the vehicle was connected to a missing persons report filed on Tuesday for Keith and Pauline, who were last seen at their home that morning.

The missing persons report stated Pauline has hearing and vision loss and her husband had dementia.

A spokeswoman for the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department told NBC News that it appears Keith and Pauline may have gotten lost. Family members told deputies they are not sure why the couple drove out to Adelanto, adding they do not have relatives in the area.

They told NBC 4 Los Angeles that the married couple only left their home for short trips to a local restaurant or to the supermarket.

Bonnie Davis, the couple's granddaughter, said Keith and Pauline did not use a GPS or cellphones.

Officials did not release a cause of death for Keith.