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A 71-year-old Mays Landing woman is fighting for her life and her 5-year-old great-granddaughter is lucky to be alive after spending several days lost and trapped in the remote woods of Virginia.

The two, who had been missing since Christmas Eve, were finally found Wednesday following a search by relatives and police forces spanning several states.

Barbara Briley and 5-year-old La’Myra Briley were found shortly before 5 p.m. by a Dinwiddie County resident who spotted their silver Toyota Rav4 on private property.

The resident found an unconscious Briley and the child sitting against a tree about 45 feet from the vehicle, Virginia State Police said Wednesday evening.

The two had survived on drinks and snacks they had brought for the trip. The great-grandmother, however, is now in a Virginia hospital, listed in serious condition.

Authorities do not believe any foul play was involved.

The two were headed on a road trip to meet family in North Carolina, a trip Briley had made many times before. Relatives tried reaching Briley several times on her cell phone, but to no avail.

Briley ended up on Nash Road, a rural and sparsely populated area several miles from Interstate 85.

Based on what they saw at the scene, Virginia State Police pieced together the following turn of events:

It appears Barbara Briley turned off of Nash Road and onto a dirt road, which she followed about 3/10 of a mile before pulling off into the woods. At one point, she drove over a small tree, attempted to back up and the Rav4 got stuck in a remote area of the property.

Officials said La’Myra "was alert and appeared unharmed" and is now with relatives.

The two had last been seen on Christmas Eve at a gas station in Ruther Glen, Virginia, about 30 miles north of Richmond.

Surveillance video from the gas station shows Barbara Briley walking inside around 5:40 p.m. Saturday.

Gas station clerk Joanna Strange told local media that Briley came inside to say she was lost, and that she helped her with her GPS before Briley went on her way.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-438-1015 or email

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