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NAPLES | Investigators expand search area for missing 80-year-old woman

Margaret Gallaway last seen Monday afternoon near her home
Collier County missing woman
Posted at 1:47 PM, Oct 17, 2023

NAPLES, Fla. — The search for Margaret Gallaway grew Thursday morning with volunteers to help and the size of the search area in Naples.

Collier County Sheriff's Office (CCSO) told Fox 4's Briana Brownlee more than 100 volunteers showed up to help find Gallaway, 80, missing since Monday afternoon.

“I want to find her," said Mia Milchman, one of the volunteers. "She’s been out potentially without water, exposure to the heat. It’s 72 hours. We need to find her."

Gallaway also lives with Alzheimer's and is non-verbal.

The first couple of days of the search, deputies, along with several search crews combed through the lakes, bushes, and wooded areas of her Crown Point neighborhood.

"We're obviously disappointed that we haven't yet been able to locate her, but we aren't giving up," said Andrea Jones, spokeswoman for the Collier County Sheriff's Office.

She added that, after three days and no signs of Galloway, it was time to expand the search into surrounding areas with the help of volunteers--including the Marco Patriots. "Also, we do search and rescue and disaster response.”

"Having those volunteers knock on doors, asking people if they have seen anything out of the ordinary," Jones said.

Jones added this doesn't appear to be a suspicious disappearance and the sheriff's office said this video is the only video they have of her after she left her home Monday afternoon.

Missing 80-year-old Naples woman caught on camera before going missing

"We have not had anything since that indicates where she may have been headed," Jones said.

Around 3 p.m. Thursday , Jones gave an update that people searching on foot is suspended for the day, but drones, aviation and marine work will continue.

Wednesday, the Collier County Sheriff's Office released the 911 call Gallaway's husband made to the sheriff's office after he noticed she was missing.

"She’s missing, she has dementia," said Gallaway's husband. "I looked all over for her."

According to the Collier County Sheriff's Office, Gallaway went missing around 1:45 pm Monday and she is now considered missing and endangered.

CCSO said Gallaway was getting ready to go somewhere with her husband. When he was getting dressed he noticed she was missing.

“I’m really still surprised at this point it’s been lengthy and she’s still missing," said one neighbor.

“One of the difficulties that we are facing in this search is the area," Jones said. "The neighborhood backs up to one side of a preserve—there is some thick brush in there. There are also numerous bodies of water one of which is about 60-feet deep.”

“I just find it unusual that no one has seen or knows where she can be at," the neighbor said. “We went to our backyard my husband and myself just to see because we know the path back there and unfortunately nothing," the neighbor said. "It’s really hard and it’s really sad, the longer we wait."

Gallaway is described as 5'8", last seen wearing pink shorts, a pink and white shirt, white sneakers, and an Alzheimer's identification bracelet.

Several search crews in the area, including aviation, dive teams, drones, and a bloodhound from Charlotte County are searching for Gallaway.

Jones said that the cooler temperatures are also a concern. Because Gallaway is non-verbal, investigators say if you come in contact with her be comforting and call 911.