71-Year-Old Woman and Great-Granddaughter, 5, Found Alive Days After They Were Reported Missing

An elderly woman and her 5-year-old great-granddaughter vanished on Christmas Eve.

A missing 71-year-old woman and her 5-year-old great-granddaughter were found alive in a remote section of private property in Virginia, police said.

Barbara Briley was unconscious and La’Myra Briley was alert and unharmed when they were discovered Wednesday evening sitting under a tree more than a mile off a road north of Richmond, authorities said.

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The woman and child were reported missing Christmas Eve, hours after Briley had set out from New Jersey with her great-granddaughter, headed to a family holiday celebration in North Carolina.

The FBI and several local and state agencies searched for the missing females as family members grew desperate, CBS affiliate WTVR-TV reported.

Relatives last heard from Briley at about 8 p.m. on Christmas Eve. The woman said she was stuck in traffic in Caroline County, Virginia. She was due to arrive at 11 p.m., her family members said.

When they tried to call her at 10 p.m., the call went to voicemail.

Authorities said a cell phone signal was picked up at about 1:30 a.m. near Interstate 85 in southern Virginia. But the phone was quickly turned off, police said.

State troopers then used helicopters to search for the pair.

Briley was airlifted to an area hospital where she was listed in serious condition, authorities said. The child was returned to her family and was in good health, authorities said.

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Police would not comment on Briley’s medical condition.

The pair had survived on juice and snacks they had in the car, authorities said.

Family members said Briley, a retired New Jersey Transit driver, had made the 500-mile trip dozens of times and had no known medical issues.

The two were found by a property owner out for a walk, who found them about 1.5 miles off Nash Road, in the woods.

Authorities said they don’t suspect any criminal wrongdoing associated with the missing woman and the girl.

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