I agree that it is unlikely someone would want a non-collectible vehicle which was left abandoned for a year, let alone a decade. After just two years of sitting, it will often require significant expense to make a vehicle which was running fine prior to sitting roadworthy again. After 10 years? Expect it to need major repairs. And that’s if it was running fine when it was parked.
That being said, I was not aware that the state would provide you with the owner’s contact info. Here in Arizona, one would apply for either a bonded title (if purchasing the vehicle from someone other than the last registered owner), or an abandoned title (if the vehicle was abandoned on your land).
The way the OP’s situation would work here is that the friend would write up a bill of sale selling the vehicle to him, perhaps for a token amount, then the OP would apply for a bonded title, and the state would send a letter to the last registered owner–at the last registered address. Of course, if that person has moved, or passed away, then they aren’t going to respond within the necessary timeframe, and after a waiting period, you receive a conditional title and registration. At this point, you can legally drive the car. After a certain amount of time has passed, and no one has made any claim against the vehicle, you receive a regular title, and the bond is canceled.