Got a tip?

The Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone with information regarding missing persons Troy Galloway, Darvis Lee Jr., and Melissa Suzanne Johnson to contact the Sheriff’s Detective Division at (209) 694-2900.

Call the same number to provide information on any of the other 20 missing persons on the county’s list, which can be viewed by clicking on “Missing Persons” on the left side of the page at: https://tcsd.crimegraphics.com/2013/default.aspx

Show support for people with missing loved ones

The fourth annual Tuolumne County Missing Persons’ Awareness Day will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Sept. 8 , at Black Oak Casino Resort’s Heritage Park. The event is free and open to the public.

Sharon Rocha, mother of murder victim Laci Peterson, will be the guest speaker at the event.

Families and friends are encouraged to wear memorial T-shirts and bring posters commemorating their missing loved ones.

For more information, contact Sandy Lee at (209) 743-5223, Nancy Galloway at (831) 588-0907, Linda Hatter at (209) 604-6790, or email amothersquest@gmail.com.

Everyday feels like torture for Nancy Galloway since her son, Troy Galloway, went missing after leaving his home in Crystal Falls one chilly winter night in January 2016.

Nancy Galloway said she does something everyday that she hopes will help her get closer to finding her son, even if it’s just a prayer.

“My mind is always going 24/7, where’s Troy?” she said.

Troy Galloway was among the first group of missing people whose cases are being re-publicized by the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office in an attempt to generate more leads.

The Sheriff’s Office posted information Friday morning on its Facebook page about Troy Galloway’s case, in addition to the cases of Darvis Lee Jr. and Melissa Suzanne Johnson.

“I’m really glad they are doing this,” said Nancy Galloway, who lives in Santa Cruz.

Troy Galloway hasn’t been since he left the home in Crystal Falls he shared with his wife on the night of Jan. 13, 2016.

He was 34 and a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, who served from 2000 to 2003. He had a son who was 3 and a daughter who was 6 months old.

Nancy Galloway said he didn’t have his jacket when he left his house, on a night that neighbors later described to her as “wicked cold.”

He was reported missing by his wife a couple days later when he didn’t return home.

No items of clothing or anything else belonging to Troy Galloway has ever been found. Investigators said his phone went off 30 minutes after he left and was never turned back on.

None of Troy Galloway’s bank accounts have been touched, according to his mother.

There are times when Nancy Galloway hopes her son is just lost and alive somewhere, possibly due to a case of amnesia.

“Troy had mental health issues and maybe he lost his memory or something to do with mental health,” she said.

But there are other times when Nancy Galloway’s mind goes to wondering if he was kidnapped and being held hostage, or worse.

“It goes from there to murder, or injury, he could have fallen off a cliff,” she said. “I don’t want to stay in that murder part, but I want to be realistic. I don’t know if you can prepare yourself for having that information, but I’m trying to prepare myself.”

Nancy Galloway said there have been at least five times since her son’s disappearance when unidentified remains have been discovered in the Sonora area, which keeps her on edge each time until they determine the identity.

“It’s a horrible way to live,” she said.

Throughout it all, Nancy Galloway said she’s tried to keep her humor and do things she loves to do, like walking on the beach, going to the movies and being with friends.

Nancy Galloway is also taking care of her grandson, who’s now 7 and asks her when he’ll get to see his father again.

“I tell him we’re looking for him everyday,” she said.

Sheriff’s Lt. Craig Davis recently contacted Nancy Galloway to tell her he was the new person in charge of detectives and how they planned to publicize the missing persons cases on Facebook.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Andrea Benson said no one in the detectives division was available to comment on Friday because they were all out in the field working on cases.

Even if the efforts lead to the worst outcome, Nancy Galloway said she would rather know what happened than continue wondering.

“If they found remains, I would definitely want to know,” she said. “We don’t even get to have a memorial for Troy, because we don’t know if he’s dead or alive.”

Nancy Galloway set up a hotline shortly after her son’s disappearance for people to provide tips on his whereabouts, which can be reached by calling (831) 471-7027.

She’s received about 10 tips on the hotline over the years, none of which have led to anything, but two were provided earlier this year that authorities are investigating.

Troy Galloway went missing just weeks before another man, Allen Christopher Martin, disappeared after leaving Chicken Ranch Casino in Jamestown on Feb. 9, 2016.

Martin was 36.

They are among 22 people listed as missing with the Sheriff’s Office. The newest case was reported in July, while the oldest dates back to 1980.

Nancy Galloway has become friends with Martin’s mother, Linda Hatter, as well as Darvis Lee Jr.’s mother, Sandy Lee.

The three mothers are promoting the fourth annual Tuolumne County Missing Persons’ Awareness Day, which will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Sept. 8, at Black Oak Casino Resort’s Heritage Park.

Family members and friends of people on the county’s missing persons list have attended the event each year.

The guest speaker will be Sharon Rocha, the mother of Laci Peterson, who was murdered by her husband, Scott Peterson, while eight months pregnant.

Laci Peterson was missing for months before her body was found.

There are also usually people from various law enforcement agencies who attend the event to speak and provide information.

“It’s so important for us to get together and show that we’re not alone, and that people do care and haven’t forgotten about our loved ones,” said Sandy Lee, who authored a book about her son’s disappearance.

Darvis Lee Jr. was reported missing on Oct. 24, 2010, and last heard from on Oct. 18, 2010, according to the Sheriff’s Office. His car was found in the area of Quail Mine Road three days after his disappearance.

On Jan. 15, 2011, Darvis Lee Jr.’s jawbone was found by his parents near Five Mile Creek, which was later confirmed through dental records.

Sandy Lee said she also received a call recently from Davis, who scheduled a meeting next week with her and her husband, Darvis Lee Sr.

“I haven’t been given any false hope and know that nobody can promise anything, but there’s just going to be more things done which may make us closer to finding our son,” she said. “Even if other people’s children are found, to me that will be worth all of this.”

Melissa Suzanne Johnson, the third missing person whose case information was shared by the Sheriff’s Office on Friday, was last seen in the summer of 2016 and reported missing by a family member just last month on June 13, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Johnson had an address in Tuolumne County and was known to frequent Modesto and Wichita County, Texas.

Benson said the Sheriff’s Office didn’t have specifics on why there was a three-year gap between the time she was last seen and reported missing, but sometimes family members aren’t in touch on a regular basis or live out of the area.

Contact Alex MacLean at amaclean@uniondemocrat.com or (209) 588-4530.

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