Missing Naples woman safe after week trapped in neighbor's garage
First responders and others who spent nearly a week looking for a missing Naples woman expressed surprise and joy after she was found safe but locked in a neighbor’s garage the entire time.
On Monday Collier County Undersheriff Jim Bloom held a briefing on the ordeal of 80-year old Margaret Galloway and said it was incredible she was found safe.
"As we know, a lot of times these types of incidents don't turn out in this manner," Bloom said. "So we feel very fortunate that it did.”
The woman had wandered from her home in the Crown Pointe community at 2 p.m. Monday Oct. 16. Bloom termed the investigation as "an extensive search" of the area for most of the week.
"I will tell you in detail that this search involves almost every Bureau within our agency and elements throughout the community," Bloom said. He cited help from Florida Urban Search and Rescue Task Force Team Six, Greater Naples Fire Rescue District, North Collier Fire District, Peace River Canine Search and Rescue Inc, Charlotte County Sheriff's Office, the Marco Patriots, and most importantly, the residents of Crown Pointe.
Collier Sheriff's Office Commander Chris Goldhorn described specific parts of the effort.
"During the week, we conducted continuous and repeated searches of the whole community going door to door, made contact with every resident, and making sure that every home can be searched that we're able to search.," he said.
Goldhorn added that on Sunday deputies were scanning doorbell cams when they saw an image of a person entering a garage.
"That's when the detectives discovered this still image of an unknown object in front of an open garage," Goldhorn said. "That was captured on 3:25, on the day that Miss Galloway went missing, which was essentially the needle in the haystack. I mean, if you if you blink you'll miss it."
The owner of the property was out of town and investigators got the door code from relatives.
“Detectives then made entry and discovered Miss Galloway, initially thinking the worst," Goldhorn said. "When detectives went to aid Mrs. Galloway, who was a nonverbal dementia patient, she became somewhat responsive and spoke the first words that she'd spoken in months.”
Though the woman didn’t have food, detectives said they did find an empty vitamin water bottle that she may have consumed. Family members thanked searchers and Maureen Taylor, Galloway’s daughter, remarked on the thin margin for her survival.
“Doctors said if they didn't find her yesterday (Sunday), she would not have survived,” the daughter said.
Galloway was reunited with her family Sunday and taken to the hospital for treatment.
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