Search Continues for Missing Arizona Woman with Down Syndrome

May 16, 2019 Updated: May 16, 2019

Authorities continue to search for a 38-year-old Arizona woman with Down syndrome after she vanished from her desert-area home eight weeks ago.

“She’s a vulnerable adult and we’re doing everything we can to locate her,” said Pima County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Daniel Jelineo, PEOPLE reported. “We’re looking to the public to supply any tips they have.”

Sarah Galloway was last seen at her home in a small community northwest of Tucson at around 7:30 a.m. on March 21, according to KOLD News 13.

Sarah has Down syndrome and functions at about the level of an 8-year-old, according to the report.

The vulnerable woman’s mother, 66-year-old Sherry Galloway, told PEOPLE her daughter is “super-friendly.”

“No one is a stranger to her. But she needs supervision to care for herself. She cannot operate a cellphone,” she added.

Galloway described the moment she realized it had been some time since she last heard her daughter’s voice and became alarmed.

“My first thought was that she’d just walked further than she was allowed,” Galloway told PEOPLE. “I got in the car and drove down the road. No Sarah. I was freaking out. … Within about 10 minutes, we’d called 911.”

An extensive search was launched, scouring the nearby desert.

A representative with the Pima County Sheriff’s Department, James Allerton, told ABC15 News at the time that resources from multiple agencies had joined the search, including tracking dogs and helicopters.

“The Department of Public Safety has sent air assets out here to assist us,” Allerton said, adding, “the US Border Patrol has sent their search and rescue, their BORSTAR units as well as K-9s.”

But the search has turned up empty-handed.

The missing woman’s mother said, “Every morning, 7:30—8 o’clock, I sit out here and watch cars and I’m just like, ‘Did you take her? Did you take her? Did you take her?’”

Tad and Kandance Jaconski, Galloway’s brother-in-law and sister, told the news outlet they were puzzled by her sudden disappearance.

“I’ve never seen her walk off by herself or even talk back or bad to anybody or argue with her mom in any bad way … and very kind but always accept anything from anybody, so that’s what worries me,” they told ABC15.

“I feel like I’m experiencing grief, like when someone passes away,” Kandace Jaconski told KOLD News 13.

Unusual Behavior Before Disappearance

The missing woman’s mother told PEOPLE that Sarah’s behavior had become increasingly unpredictable leading up to her disappearance.

“It was really weird,” Galloway told the publication. “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.”

KOLD News 13 reported that Galloway said her daughter had been particularly agitated the night before she went missing and talked about wanting to be with “her husband.”

Family members cited by the outlet said Sarah also suffered from delusions of being wanted by the law.

Local resident Donald Wadley coordinated volunteer search efforts among members of the tight-knit community.

“A lot of prayers, it’s keeping our hopes alive, keeping our spirits up,” Wadley told KOLD News 13. “It’s what keeps us going.”

He said he was hopeful for a breakthrough.

“There’s got to be a clue. Nobody just vanishes out of nowhere,” Wadley said.

Sheriff’s Office Continues Investigation

The Pima County Sheriff’s Office wrote in an update on its Facebook page that “an extensive search” had been conducted and “every available resource had been used in an attempt to locate” the missing woman.

The post concludes with the note that the agency “continues to actively investigate Sarah Galloway’s disappearance.”

Galloway is described as 4-foot-11, weighing 170 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a gray sweater, dark pants, and rainbow unicorn shoes.

Authorities are asking anyone with information to call 911.

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