• Kym L. Pasqualini

Woman with Down’s Syndrome Missing Six Months, Mother Makes Tearful Appeal

Updated: Feb 21


UPDATE: FOUND DECEASED


It has been six long and heart-wrenching months for Sherry Galloway, 66, who is waiting for any word about where her daughter is. With this “critical missing person” case no longer on the front page news, this mother is also losing hope.

Sarah Jean Galloway, 38, vanished from the front porch of her home in a rural area of Picture Rocks, Ariz., just outside of Tucson on March 21, 2019.

The morning of March 21, started like any other day. Galloway took a shower while Sarah sat on the front porch. After getting out of the shower, Sherry realized she couldn’t hear Sarah and ran to the front door where Sarah had been sitting . . . but no Sarah.

“My first thought was that she [Sarah] had just walked further down the road than she was allowed,” says Galloway. I got in the cat and drove down the road. No Sarah. I was freaking out. Within 10 minutes, we’d called 911.”

Sarah has Down's Syndrome and functions at the level of an 8-year old child. At the age of 8, Sarah joined the Galloway family, along with five other siblings. She was officially adopted by Galloway at age 12.

Sarah is described as a “happy go lucky” young woman who has pretend conversations with her friends, acts silly and loves to talk about daily events at her daytime program for adults with disabilities.

Police Search

Police and volunteers conducted ground searches of the area around Sarah’s home on foot, ATV, horseback, aerial and canine, but they could not find any trace of Sarah. The Department of Homeland Security even conducted aerial searches to no avail.

“I do believe she was picked up that morning,” said Galloway. “I don’t know by who, and I can’t figure out why.”

By March 27, 2019, the Pima County Sheriff’s Department had concluded the active search but say they will continue to follow up on leads and tips.

Stats & Facts

According to the FBI National Crime Information Center (NCIC), there were 87,608 active missing person cases as of May 31, 2018. That number tends not to fluctuate significantly and approximately 90,000 people is an average count of missing persons on any given day.

When law enforcement takes a missing person report the descriptive information and classification is entered into the NCIC computer database. There are six categories used in NCIC.

As of May 31, 2018, the numbers below reflect active missing person cases in each classification used by law enforcement to describe the circumstances of each missing person’s disappearance.

  • 37,875 Juveniles

  • 14,433 Endangered

  • 8,853 Involuntary

  • 5,731 Disability

  • 1,024 Catastrophe

  • 19,692 Other

While Amber Alerts are used for endangered children who are reported missing, the Silver Alert is usually used for seniors who go missing that may have diminished mental capacity, such as someone with Alzheimer’s. At times a Silver Alert can be used for a case like Sarah's.

Experts say, missing adults typically receive less media attention in comparison to children and can be due to age, race, gender and even socioeconomic status. Sadly, cases that do receive a lot of media attention tend to be cases where the details of the disappearance are dramatic and sensational, and the missing person is young, white, and beautiful.

A Mother's Plea

The last six months have taken its toll on Galloway while she waits for any word from police. Sarah’s photograph has now joined the thousands of missing person and child cases circulating Facebook and Galloway joins a club no one wants to be a member of - parents who are desperately searching for their children.

When a loved one is missing, sleep doesn’t come easy and health declines due to the stress. Galloway is now under a doctor’s care and has been told doing media interviews would not be helpful to her health at this time. "It's a very helpless feeling," says Galloway.

With no further police or volunteer search efforts, Galloway feels alone at times but gets some comfort knowing there are thousands of people sharing Sarah’s photograph on Facebook and other social media platforms.

“Six months now. Please Dear God just bring her home,” says Galloway. “All I ask is for people to please not stop searching for my baby.”


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