Mysterious Disappearance of Arizona Woman With Down Syndrome

Updated on July 5, 2019
kymp profile image

Kym L. Pasqualini is a freelance writer and founder of Nation's Missing Children Organization and National Center for Missing Adults.

Sarah Galloway, 38, has Down syndrome and went missing from Tucson, Arizona.
Sarah Galloway, 38, has Down syndrome and went missing from Tucson, Arizona.

On March 21, 2019, Sherry Galloway, 66, got out of the shower and, while sitting on her bed, she “realized I didn’t hear Sarah,” she said. She ran to the door where Sarah had been sitting on the porch and looked down the road that leads away from the residence Galloway shares with her daughter in the community of Picture Rocks, outside of Tucson, Ariz. “My first thought was that she had just walked further down the road 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.”

Sarah, 38, has Down syndrome. She is a “happy go lucky” young woman who loves to talk about daily events that occurred at her daytime program for adults with disabilities and has pretend conversations with her friends.

Sarah functions at the level of an 8-year-old child. At age 8, Sarah joined the Galloway family, along with five other siblings, and they officially adopted Sarah at age 12.

Police conducted foot, canine and aerial searches of the desert near the home of Sherry Galloway in the Picture Rocks community approximately 30 minutes from Tucson, Ariz.
Police conducted foot, canine and aerial searches of the desert near the home of Sherry Galloway in the Picture Rocks community approximately 30 minutes from Tucson, Ariz.

Police Search

The day Sarah vanished, police and volunteers canvassed the area on foot, by search vehicle, and used K-9, but they could not find a trace of Sarah. Police even partnered with the Department of Homeland Security, conducting searches by helicopter.

“The police did do their dog search and they say they lost the scent right at the end of the driveway,” said Galloway. “I do believe she was picked up that morning. I don’t know by who, and I can’t figure out why.”

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

According to Galloway, Sarah had been agitated prior to her disappearance. “It was really weird,” she said. “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,” Galloway added.

“She’s super friendly,” Galloway told People Magazine. “No one is a stranger to her. But she needs supervision to care for herself. She cannot operate a cell phone.”

Sarah has been missing since March 2019 from Tucson, Ariz., and described as outgoing with a sunny personality.
Sarah has been missing since March 2019 from Tucson, Ariz., and described as outgoing with a sunny personality.

Investigating Sarah Galloway's Disappearance

According to Galloway, Sarah attends a day program for people with disabilities which she enjoys. She loves to help around the house and loves to color princesses in coloring books like Frozen. She also loves to role play movie and TV characters with her mother.

“I miss her come in and kiss me in the morning," said Galloway who has spent months waiting for her daughter. “I miss having her kiss me at night before she went to bed.”

Galloway has spent months replaying the delusions her daughter was experiencing right before she disappeared.

“But she changed. She changed dramatically. She wouldn’t listen to anything I’d say; she wouldn’t get up and go anywhere with me,” Galloway told KGUN 9 TV. “She was running outside doing strange things, throwing rocks at my windows, saying she was going to break my trailer, going up to the car that her and her boyfriend, husband, were going to steal and when you ask her who her husband is, she would name him and I don’t think I’m allowed to name him on camera so, I just keep my thoughts to myself because he had an alibi.”

In the meantime, Pima County Sheriff’s Department says they continue to investigate any and all leads related to Sarah’s disappearance.

Thomas Lauth is a private investigator from Lauth Investigations International based in Indianapolis, Ind. Lauth and has worked missing adult cases for over 25 years and very familiar with the setbacks police may be experiencing with Sarah’s case. “This case is particularly concerning because we are dealing with an individual who has diminished mental capacity, who is also very friendly,” says Lauth. “We also face challenges because the media’s interest has been short-lived unlike other high-profile disappearances of other women Sarah’s age.”

Lauth is concerned the media has not covered the case providing new updates like other nationally known cases of young women in the country. “We need information from the public and that only happens when there is consistent coverage of a case in the public eye,” said Lauth. “Sadly, it is far too common that women with disabilities get less attention than the young, beautiful college student.”

Galloway says she knows her daughter is out there somewhere, and she won’t give up until she is found. “I will find peace, yes, when that kid is back in my arms safe,” says Galloway. “I don’t care if it’s here on earth or if it’s in heaven. I will find peace as long as she’s with me.”

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

“When an adult with disabilities goes missing, police and family members face an especially difficult time getting and maintaining public awareness of the case,” says Lauth.

While Amber Alerts are used for endangered children who are reported missing, the Silver Alert is used for seniors who go missing that may have diminished mental capacity, such as someone with Alzheimer’s. However, an alert does not exist for cases like Sarah Galloway.

“Missing adults typically receive less media attention in comparison to children and can be due to age, race, gender and even socioeconomic status,” says Lauth. “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.”

Sarah is 4 feet 11 inches tall and weighs 100 lbs. She has brown hair and brown eyes that are crossed. She has visible overbite and scars on her fingers. The morning she vanished she was wearing a grey sweater, a red T-shirt and black pants.

If you have any information about the disappearance of Sarah Galloway, please call Tucson Police Department at 520-88-CRIME (27463) or 520-351-4900.

Questions & Answers

    © 2019 Kym L Pasqualini

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment
      • profile image

        Jennifer 

        6 days ago

        Have all workers from janitorial staff to ground keepers and educators and carers been questioned? Security footage from Sarah’s day time program been viewed to see if there’s any interpersonal relationships that seem out of the norm? Is the “friends” alibi rock solid?

      • profile image

        Tina 

        7 days ago

        I am friends with Sarah's sister and hubby, and I live about 20 minutes away.. from where poor Sara went missing..

        Thank you so much for helping them..

        It breaks my heart

      • profile image

        Sandra 

        7 days ago

        When did Sarah go missing. I will share her story on my page and in M.P. groups. Praying she is found safe.

      • profile image

        Jenn Buchanan 

        7 days ago

        I'm local, and was actively part of the community command center. My Facebook cover photo is all about Sarah. We will never give up!

      • kymp profile imageAUTHOR

        Kym L Pasqualini 

        9 days ago from Carefree, AZ

        Thank you so much for commenting! We do too. I am working on getting Sherry pro bono assistance from a private investigator right now and hoping they can help too.

      • Guckenberger profile image

        Alexander James Guckenberger 

        2 weeks ago from Maryland, United States of America

        I hope she is okay.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, soapboxie.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://soapboxie.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)