Your images are never "in" Lightroom - they're wherever you asked Lr to import them to, and the edited files are wherever you exported them to. All Lr has is a record of the files and the edits you made to them.
Thank you! So the edited pics are in the picture files on my crashed computer?
And I'm confused about "where I asked LR to import them to"? What might that be? I thought I was importing them to LR? (Sorry, I'm not really an idiot, just a newby)
So the edited pics are in the picture files on my crashed computer?
They are stored on one of the hard disks on the crashed computer, in a folder somewhere (not a "picture file"), and that hard disk may (or may not) still be intact and working properly
And I'm confused about "where I asked LR to import them to"? What might that be?
We don't know. You are in total control over what folder and what disk the photos will be stored in when you import into Lightroom. If the disk is still working, you can use your operating system to search for them.
I thought I was importing them to LR?
As Keith explained, the photos are on one of your hard disks and are NEVER stored in Lightroom.
however I was backing them up on LR.
Lightroom will make a 2nd copy of your photos when you import, if you select this option. Other than that, it does not make backups of your photos, it only makes backup of your catalog file (which as we have said, does not contain your photos).