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A family went on vacation and left two frail elderly sisters alone in a basement where they didn't eat or drink for three days, authorities said.

Juanita Chancey, 70, who is bedridden, and Maureena Weeks, 88, were found dehydrated and malnourished in the home of Chancey's son, sheriff's officials said Wednesday. Both suffer from mild dementia.Investigators didn't know where the son, Hubert Wayne Chancey, was vacationing, and he wasn't expected back until at least the weekend, Sgt. Edward Hopkins said.

Before Hubert Chancey and his family left Friday, he hired home health-care aides to visit the women at his home about 20 miles northeast of Baltimore. They arrived Monday night and notified authorities about the state the sisters were in.

Hopkins said he did not know exactly what the aides were hired to do but didn't believe it included feeding the women. He did not know if the aides had been instructed to visit before Monday.