71-Year-Old N.J. Woman, 5-Year-Old Great-Granddaughter Found Safe Off Rural Virginia Road After Going Missing

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The search for a missing 71-year-old New Jersey woman and her 5-year-old great-granddaughter, last seen on Christmas Eve, ended after they were found in Virginia on Wednesday evening following days of frantic searching.

Barbara Briley was found sitting unconscious near a tree in a rural area of Dinwiddie County about 35 miles south of Richmond, according to Virginia State Police.

Her great-granddaughter, 5-year-old La’Myra Briley, was alert and appeared to be unharmed, KTLA sister station WTVR in Richmond reported. The elder Briley regained consciousness and was flown to a hospital by helicopter for treatment. She is in serious condition, officials said.

La’Myra received a medical evaluation at the scene and was released to a family member.

They went missing while en route to North Carolina for a holiday visit and had last been seen at a gas station in Ruther Glen, Virginia. A worker at the gas station told WTVR the older woman appeared to be having problems with vehicle's GPS unit.

The Dinwiddie County Sheriff’s Office and Virginia State Police were dispatched to the scene where the pair were found after a property owner discovered the Brileys and contacted authorities. Barbara and La’Myra were found in a dark, secluded area about 7 miles from Interstate 85.

The silver Toyota Rav4 was parked about 1 1/2 miles off the main road and 45 feet off a dirt path. The couple were found sitting about 50 yards away from the vehicle.

Police believe Briley turned off Nash Road and onto a dirt road, which she followed about three-tenths of a mile before pulling off into the woods. At one point, she drove over a small tree, attempted to back up and the Rav4 got stuck in a remote area of the property.

Based on evidence recovered at the scene, it appears Barbara and La'Myra were there for several days, but were sustained by their snacks.

"Where they were found by the vehicle, they were some juice boxes, some apples, and some other items," said Virginia State Police Sgt. Steve Vick. "It appears they have been eating and drinking several things during that time period."

Officials said they don't suspect foul play in their disappearance.

Authorities initially gave a different spelling for the Brileys' last name.


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