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Family of missing 71-year-old, child: God’s grace kept them safe

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RICHMOND, Va. -- Relieved and extremely grateful is how Barbara Briley's family members describe their emotions after a tumultuous week.

The search for 71-year-old Barbara Briley and her 5-year-old great-granddaughter ended Wednesday evening after they were found on a remote piece of property in Dinwiddie County.

CBS 6 spoke exclusively with Briley’s family outside of VCU Medical Center Friday.


Tonya Floyd and Terry Ramseur, Briley's daughters

Days after being stranded in the woods, Briley's daughters say their mother’s condition is improving as she is alert and talking.

"We were very emotional… crying, laughing, praying, thanking God," said Terry Ramseur, Barbara Briley's daughter.

The family says the 71-year-old and 5-year-old La’Myra are now safe and sound.

"I didn't care how God brought them to us. I just wanted God to bring them home," said Ramseur.

Briley and her great-granddaughter were found in a densely wooded area off Nash road in Dinwiddie County Wednesday evening.

Barbara and La’Myra Briley

Barbara and La’Myra Briley

A man who lives nears the property was walking his dogs when he spotted the Silver Toyota and called 911.

“This traumatic episode could have turned out so much worst. It was only by the grace of God that he kept them safe in the area that they were… anything could have happened, said Ramseur.

The two were reported missing on Christmas Eve after losing contact with family in Caroline County.

Ramseur explained how she believes the two survived in the woods for multiple days.

"La’Myra took the food and she fed her and her great-grandmother everyday. She took the water and gave it to her and her Grandma everyday. She covered her with a blanket. You can tell she tried to plug the phone in," said Ramseur.

Briley's daughters say their mom is an experienced driver who's made the trip from New Jersey to North Carolina for over 30 years.


Found on remote piece of property in Dinwiddie County

"I just think that… due to the heavy traffic and all of the construction and the detours she was on. I think it sent her in a wrong direction," said Ramseur.

As for the passerby who found Barbara and little La’Myra, the family says they're eternally grateful.

"I can never say thank you enough. And I just want to say thank you a million times to him because if it wasn't for him, we would still be running up and down the highway everyday searching for them," said Ramseur.

The Briley family tells CBS 6 they're working to providing La’Myra with toys and gifts since she missed out on Christmas.

They say Barbara is expected to be in the hospital for a few more days and they won't leave her side until she's released.

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