Sarah Galloway, 38, who vanished in March, requires help to care for herself
Sherry Galloway could always keep track of her daughter, Sarah, by the sound of her voice.
Sarah, 38, has Down syndrome, and loves to talk out loud to herself — usually pretend conversations with friends or commentary about events at her day program for adults with disabilities.
But on March 21, Sherry, 66, emerged from the shower and, sitting on her bed, “realized I didn’t hear Sarah,” she says. Running to the door, she looked down the road leading away from the home she shares with her daughter in a community outside Tucson. But Sarah was gone. “My first thought was that she’d just walked further than she was allowed,” says Galloway. “I got in the car and drove down the road. No Sarah. I was freaking out. … Within about 10 minutes, we’d called 911.”
Professional and volunteer searches by foot, vehicle, K-9 and air failed to yield a trace of Sarah.
According to the Pima County (Arizona) Sheriff’s Department, law enforcement continues to investigate Sarah’s disappearance, even pairing with the Department of Homeland Security to conduct helicopter searches. “She’s a vulnerable adult and we’re doing everything we can to locate her,” says a spokesman, Deputy Daniel Jelineo. “We’re looking to the public to supply any tips they have.”
According to Galloway, Sarah’s behavior had been agitated in the months leading up to her disappearance. “It was really weird,” says Galloway. “She was fantasizing about someone — an acquaintance — being her husband, telling me that this guy was going to do bad things to me. We didn’t know where that was coming from or what to think.”
Ordinarily, Sarah is a sunny individual who sometimes attends a day program and likes to help around the house, according to her mother. She enjoys coloring— mostly books with princess themes such as Frozen — and loves to role-play TV and movie characters with her mother. “She’s super-friendly,” says Galloway. “No one is a stranger to her. But she needs supervision to care for herself. She cannot operate a cell phone.”
Sarah joined the Galloway family, which includes five siblings, at age 8, and Sherry Galloway adopted her at age 12. “She is the most precious thing in the world to our family,” says Galloway. “Everytime I open my eyes in the morning I’m thinking about Sarah. Please find her and bring her home. Let us rest.”