‘She’s a hero’; Missing Henrico woman drives to hospital for mental health treatment, husband says

Henrico County

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A Henrico County woman who was missing for nearly one week has been found safe.

Margaret Crews left her home on Swinton Lane in the county’s West End on the morning of December 30th and vanished. Henrico Police, friends, family, and community members have been searching for her ever since.

It’s been a long six days for Margaret’s husband, Ed Crews, whose wife seemingly disappeared without a trace. Crews’ life changed Tuesday morning when he received a phone call from Chippenham Hospital that his wife was alive and in their care.

“When the hospital called and told me that they had her I literally almost fell down,” Crews said. “I’ve never had that sensation in my life, quite frankly I thought this was going to have another ending.”

Crews is now breathing a sigh of relief that his beloved wife of forty-four years is alive. The Virginia Military Institute graduate shared that he met Margaret his sophomore year at the college and they’ve been inseparable for the past nearly five decades, but everything changed the last week of 2020.

“This was absolutely the most horrible time in my life,” Crews told 8News.


Crews said on the morning of December 30, he went to the gym and his wife was suppose to join him, but opted to stay home and study her Bible. Crews went on to say that he wasn’t away for long and when he returned, Margaret was gone along with her blue Prius.

For the next six days Crews said he tracked his wife’s bank account, which had no activity and she left her cell phone at the house; taking nothing with her when she left. He shared with 8News that his wife was suffering from a mental health episode and in dire need of her medication.

“It’s the not knowing and the sleepless nights and the self-blame,” Crews said. “It’s also the history of mental health and I know how this could possibly end. It was extremely tiring.”

On Tuesday, Crews opened up about his wife’s battle with mental health sharing that she has dealt with bipolar depression for the last twenty-five years and it’s been a tough battle. He goes on to say that he has a check-list of warning signs to look for and this episode was ‘atypical’.

Until now, Margaret hasn’t experienced a manic episode since 1995, Crews told 8News.

“The thing that gets me is that she’s been in great shape for fifteen years and it wasn’t until these lock-downs came,” Crews said. “The forced social isolation by the lock-downs is what is causing the healthcare epidemic across the country. She hasn’t been alright since May, but we were able to work through it together.”

Officials at Chippenham Hospital told Crews his wife showed up at the medical center on Tuesday morning, in need of help. Crews say it’s likely he will never know where his wife was for the days she went missing or what she was doing because she was in a manic state, but regardless he’s proud of her.

“If you want a hero in this story, it’s Margaret,” Crews said. “To be in the throws of depression, to be off your medicine for a week and to go and get help is a testament of her courage.”

Crews is encouraging anyone dealing with similar mental health issues to call for help and lean on supportive people.

As on Tuesday evening, Crews has not been able to physically visit his wife in the hospital due to the pandemic restrictions and he doesn’t want to hinder her recovery process. He said she is likely crashing from a manic state, which sometimes leads to suicidal thoughts.

Despite the distance, Crews says he plans to virtually meet with his wife in the coming days and shares that the first thing he plans to say is “I love you.”

Henrico County Police are crediting circulating news stories and online story shares for the safe return of Margaret. Crews is also praising HPD for their progress is handling mental health situations saying their actions were ‘superb’.

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