A Utah family is seeking help finding a missing mother of two

Feb 19, 2024, 7:24 PM | Updated: Feb 21, 2024, 9:36 pm

UPDATE: Karen Crawford’s body was tragically found in Salt Lake City. Read updates to this story here. A *GoFundMe has been set up to help Crawford’s family during their time of grief.

TOOELE — A Utah family is pleading for help finding a missing mother of two in crisis, who disappeared on Thursday.

Karen Crawford, 43, was seen leaving work around 11 a.m. on Friday in her black Mazda CX-5 with license plate G16 2WH. A short time later she made a purchase in the Murray area near Fashion Place Mall, but then disappeared.

“No activity on her card, no communications, we don’t know if her phone is off or dead,” said Christy Johnson. “It’s very scary to not be able to talk to her, reach her.”

Karen Crawford was last seen near Fashion Place Mall on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2024. Any information can be reported to Tooele County dispatch at 435-882-5600. (Christy Johnson)

Johnson described her sister as a loving and kind mother and wife, who in recent months began to really struggle with her mental health. She said her sister recently moved into a new home and underwent foot surgery.

“Getting rest, advocating for your needs, that would be something Karen would struggle with, she wouldn’t be able to say I need a break and stop,” Johnson said.

Johnson said on the surface, you wouldn’t know her sister is struggling with mental health. She said she is a talented writer with a witty and engaging personality.

“She is funny, she’s happy, she can light up a room, and she’ll do anything for anybody,” Johnson said.

In recent weeks, Johnson said Crawford attempted self-harm, she says she was receiving help from medical professionals and taking medication. But now fears her sister is in crisis once again.

“Mental illness is extremely difficult; they can have all the love and support in the world but finding that right balance of medication and support is really hard,” Johnson said.

Currently, Crawford is listed as a missing person with the Tooele Police Department. Cpl. Colbey Bentley said detectives are collaborating with Murray police, where Crawford’s credit card was last used, to gather any leads. Johnson said she wishes they could do more.

“We know law enforcement is doing what they can, but it’s like a needle in a haystack and we don’t know where to look for her. It’s hell,” she said.

Johnson fears that because of her age and mental health history, her sister’s disappearance isn’t getting the attention it needs. She wants Utah lawmakers to look at cases like Karen’s and see the need for a statewide alert that would go out to all law enforcement, notifying them of a missing adult experiencing a mental health crisis.

“We have Amber Alerts for missing children, we have silver alerts for seniors with dementia, I think we need to have an alert for someone that is a vulnerable adult with mental illness, that could self-harm or harm others, I don’t know why we don’t have that, we need it,” Johnson said.

Johnson said the fear and sadness over the last five days not knowing where her sister is has been overwhelming. She pleaded with the public to keep an eye out for her and contact law enforcement if they see her or her vehicle.

“She is loved, and we feel so helpless,” Johnson said. “We’re asking people to just keep their eyes out when they’re driving around.”

The Tooele City Police Department welcomes any tips or sightings of Crawford or her car. The number to call is 435-882-5600.

*KSL TV does not assure that the money deposited to the GoFundMe account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit, you should consult your own advisors and otherwise proceed at your own risk. 

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or exhibiting warning signs, call, text, or chat the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988 which is answered 24/7/365 by crisis counselors at the Huntsman Mental Health Institute. All calls to legacy crisis hotlines, including the old National Suicide Prevention hotline, 1-800-273-8255, will also connect to a crisis care worker at the Huntsman Mental Health Institute as well.

Additional resources

  • SafeUT: Parents, students, and educators can connect with a licensed crisis counselor through chat by downloading the SafeUT app or by calling 833-3SAFEUT (833-372-3388)
  • SafeUT Frontline: First responders, including firefighters, law enforcement, EMS, and healthcare professionals can chat with a licensed crisis counselor at no cost 24/7/365 by downloading the SafeUT Frontline app.
  • SafeUTNG: Members of the National Guard can chat with a licensed crisis counselor at no cost 24/7/365 by downloading the SafeUTNG app.
  • Utah Warm Line: For non-crisis situations, when you need a listening ear as you heal and recover from a personal struggle, call 1-833 SPEAKUT 8:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m., 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
  • The Huntsman Mental Health Institute offers a wide variety of programs and services including suicide prevention and crisis services, hospital treatment, therapy & medication management, substance Use & addiction recovery, child & teen programs, and maternal mental health services including birth trauma, pregnancy loss, infertility, and perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.
  • LiveOnUtah.org is a statewide effort to prevent suicide by promoting education, providing resources, and changing Utah’s culture around suicide and mental health. They offer resources for faith based groups, LGBTQ+, youth, employers, firearm suicide prevention, and crisis and treatment options.

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A Utah family is seeking help finding a missing mother of two