New Jersey family found alive in Virginia after the disappearance days

This combination of photos released by the Hamilton Police Department in New Jersey shows Barbara the Crossings, left, and her 5-year-old great-granddaughter, La’Myra Crossings.


RICHMOND, Va. – A New Jersey woman and her 5-year-old great-granddaughter were found alive in Virginia in the days after disappearing on a holiday, and there are indications that the two stranded in a remote forest, authorities said.

The 71-year-old woman, Barbara Crossings, was unconscious when she was found next to a tree with her great-granddaughter, La’Myra Crossings on Wednesday afternoon in an area of Dinwiddie County south of Richmond and at least a kilometer from the paved road, Virginia State Police said.

Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said in a statement that the two were in the vicinity of their vehicle parking on private property, where they were discovered by a man. Authorities said it appeared the two for a few days and had snacks and drinks to get. The two had been the focus of a multistate search.

Barbara the Crossings was flown by helicopter to VCU Medical Center in Richmond where she was listed in serious condition, the statement said. Authorities say the child was found unharmed and was taken for a medical evaluation before being reunited with family members.

The owner had spotted the car from a distance and when he went to check, he found the two in the neighborhood, authorities said. Maj. William Knott of the Dinwiddie County Sheriff’s Office said the man had seen news reports about the missing travelers, realized that the Brileys were and called 911.

“This person probably saved them,” Knott said.

Barbara the Crossings was “not respond to questions” when the authorities came, but Knott said the child was “in good condition and very talkative” and is now back with family.

The Brileys had left New Jersey on christmas Eve to visit family in North Carolina, but never arrived. They were last seen last weekend at a gas station in Ruther Glen, Virginia, about 30 miles north of Richmond.

Camera footage from the gas station shows Barbara the Crossings walk in about 5:40 a.m., Saturday. She leaves and again before he finally pull away, just after 6 a.m., authorities said.

Gas station clerk Joanna Strange told the local media that the Crossings came in to say that she was lost, and she helped the woman with her GPS for the Crossings went on her way.

The police said that the evidence points to the Crossings have pulled off a dirt road in the woods in Dinwiddie County and then drive over a small tree stuck when she tried to back up.

Family members have said Barbara Crossings was a former director for the New Jersey Transit and made the long trip many times. They also said that they do not have any known medical problems.

A family member of the Crossings is reached by The Associated Press refused comment, and VCU Medical Center did not immediately return a message.

Lt. Travis Nutter of the Caroline County Sheriff’s Office, which released the video, said nothing in the footage to indicate any kind of suspicious activity at the gas station where the travelers were seen.

“That video was the last anyone saw her, and what happened after that we don’t really know,” he said.

State troopers had sought in the Ruther Glen area and along the Interstate 85 corridor from south of Richmond to the North Carolina line, state police spokesman Sgt. Stephan Vick said. They used a helicopter and hunted for the signs of the railing of damage or other evidence that a car can run off the road, ” he said.

The North Carolina Highway Patrol also assisted in the search. The research was led by Hamilton Township, New Jersey, where the police, which may not immediately return messages seeking comment.

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