BROOKSVILLE, Fla. (WFLA) — A family is remembering a Brooksville couple who went missing right before Hurricane Idalia hit Florida and were found dead Thursday morning.
“Really hard,” the couple’s granddaughter Lida-Louise Hayes said, describing the situation. “Really hard.”
According to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office, 76-year-old Albert Allen and his wife 73-year-old Cynthia Allen were found dead Thursday morning in their vehicle off of Powell Road in Brooksville.
“They’re very loved,” Hayes said. “They’re why the Allen family is here.”
“They’re why our family knows what family is,” she said.
A non-profit called ‘We Are The Essentials’ stepped in, setting up a community search Thursday morning.
Nico Tusconi typically tries to not let the family of the victims take part in searches, but says this case was “all hands on deck.”
“Unfortunately, this was such a critical case where time was of the essence, so we told them get as many people as you can and get them out there,” Tusconi said.
Hayes tells 8 On Your Side it was her family’s group that ended up finding Albert and Cynthia in the woods.
“I did see them in their vehicle deceased along with my mother,” she said. “I do think that’s something that was better for us to see so we could believe it.”
“As shocking as that visual was, I do think that helped with our process of grief,” she said.
Now, Hayes is remembering her grandparents as two love birds who had been together since they were teenagers.
“He got her number from a friend and he called and called until she said yes I’ll go on a date with you,” she said. “He was persistent and was still persistent to this day.”
“There is no doubt in my mind that that man loved my grandma with every ounce of his being,” Hays said.
She said though it is a devastating end to the search for her grandparents, the silver lining is that neither Albert nor Cynthia ever had to know what life was like without one another.
“Their stories started together and their stories ended together,” she explained. “As much pain as our family is going through, that’s the only thing we can find solace in: that they went together.”