80-Year-Old Woman Missing for 6 Days Found Safe in Neighbor’s Garage: 'Our Miracle Mama'

Margaret Galloway, who is a “non-verbal dementia patient,” spoke her first words in months after she was found Sunday afternoon in a neighbor's garage

<p>Collier County Sheriff

Collier County Sheriff's Office/Facev

Margaret Galloway

An elderly woman was found alive in a garage six days after she disappeared in her Florida community.

Margaret Gallaway was found “safe” Sunday afternoon inside a Crown Pointe resident’s garage, according to the Collier County Sheriff's Office.

The 80-year-old woman was reported missing on Oct. 16 after she was last seen by family members in the Crown Pointe community at about 2 p.m. local time that same day.

Deputies said a neighbor’s surveillance footage briefly showed Gallaway “entering a nearby open garage.” The homeowner eventually closed the garage, not knowing the woman was inside, and left the area to visit family the following day.

When contacted by authorities, the owner gave them permission to enter the garage, where the woman was found alive.

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"My youngest daughter says she's our miracle mama," Michael Gallaway, the woman’s husband, told Naples Daily News.

Authorities conducted repeated searches of the community while Galloway was missing and asked residents to check their surveillance footage for anything unusual, CCSO Commander Chris Goldhorn said at a press conference on Sunday.

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One family, which was out of town when the search began, reviewed their footage and spotted an unknown object in front of a garage across the street at about 3:25 p.m. local time, Goldhorn said.

Though the homeowner of the garage was out of town, authorities made contact with his daughter, who provided a garage code to get inside.

That’s when they found Galloway, who is a “non-verbal dementia patient.” Goldhorn said she was cooperative and spoke her first words in months.

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Galloway did not appear to have access to food, though she may have consumed a Vitamin Water while inside the garage.

“Doctors said if they didn’t find her yesterday, she would not have survived,” Galloway’s daughter Maureen Taylor said at a press conference on Sunday “So we are so thankful to the dedication to this department.”

The elderly woman was transported to a local hospital, according to the CCSO.

Goldhorn said Galloway “was not in good shape” when she was found, noting that the conditions inside the garage “were not good,” CBS affiliate WINK-TV reported.

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“As we know, a lot of times, these types of incidents don’t turn out in this manner,” CCSO Colonel Jim Bloom said Sunday. “So we feel very fortunate that it did and we are very grateful for the hard work.”

Speaking on behalf of her family, Taylor thanked crews for their efforts to find Galloway safe and sound.

“We just want to express our deep appreciation to everyone who was involved,” Taylor said, later adding, “We were overwhelmed by the support that we received and we couldn’t be more thankful.”

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