When Holly Womack Elischer left Pickens County to follow her son and ex-husband to Gary, Indiana at the end of July, her mother didn’t know it might be the last time she would see her daughter.
Darlene Strickland said she last heard from her 30-year-old daughter on October 4 after she had spent a night under a gazebo in downtown Gary, Indiana. Strickland said her fears began with a phone call on October 2 to her from Holly’s former husband. Holly was in the same room with her ex-husband at the time of the call as Strickland could hear them arguing.
“He was drunk and he was just screaming at her,” Strickland said. “All this ranting and raving. He threatened to kill her. I was scared for her safety so I called the Gary police station.”
Strickland said her daughter stayed overnight at the police station where officials made arrangements for her to stay at a domestic abuse shelter the following day.
“They carried her to the wrong shelter and let her out and the shelter refused her,” Strickland said. “So she went to the only place she could, a restaurant, and stayed there till they closed. She wound up sleeping outside in a gazebo. I can’t tell you how bad this area is. I spoke to her Thursday morning and she was going to recharge her phone.”
That was the last time Strickland heard from her daughter.
“She has just dropped off the face of the earth,” said Strickland who still lives in Pickens County.
Strickland said following the birth of Elischer’s son, now age 7, her daughter was diagnosed with postpartum depression and, ultimately, bi-polar disorder.
“Even if she had medicine with her when she left, she probably would be getting close to being out of it. The last time I talked to her she just seemed like she was really disconnected when I talked to her and not making much sense.”
Strickland said the area of downtown Gary where her daughter was last seen is a high crime area with lots of abandoned buildings.
“I’m not feeling good about her surviving this whole situation. She was walking. She didn’t have any transportation,” said the mother.
Strickland asks anyone who might have any information to contact her at 770-877-2806 or Lt. Lawrence Wright with the Gary Police Department at 219-881-4736.
“She grew up here and both her and her ex-husband lived here. Maybe someone here might have some information. Anything. There were a lot of people who knew them. Any source of information they can lend to finding her would be wonderful.”
According to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons Database, Elischer is between 5’1” and 5’4” and weighs 300-325 pounds.
Turkey Shoots are in season. Look through this week's paper for ads about upcoming events.
Talking Rock resident Isabella Brandreth takes aim off of Joseph Ellis’ arm as Turkey Shoot sponsor Appalachian Mountain Scottish Rite Association Vice President Greg Gibson looks on.
What is she aiming for? Not a turkey, but a target about one hundred feet out. If she can come closer to the center of the target than the other nine competitors, she will earn her family a frozen turkey, just in time for Thanksgiving.
“Just like adults, when students want to know something they google it. They don’t march down to the library,” says administrator
JMS Math Team -- Pictured (l-r) Bethany Carver, parents Jacqueline and Mickey Carver; Olivia Fountain, parents Cynthia and Mark Fountain; Miles Gregg, parents Edie and Dennis Gregg; John Hendricks, parents Kaye and Joe Hendricks; and Garrett Thompson, parents Amy and Christopher Thompson. They are pictured with teachers Carol Wilson (right) and Tammy Duncan and Principal Neil Howell.
Math team members not pictured: Katherine Densmore, parents Mary Katherine and Chris Densmore; Peyton Harrington, parents Suzanne and Donnie Harrington; Thomas Pinson, parents Judy and Brian Pinson.
Pickens school campuses will see technology upgrades rolling out this spring based on reports given at the school board meeting Thursday.
With a tight margin in last week’s race against Republican opponent David Leister, Sharon Troglin said she feels “very blessed” to be allowed to continue serving Pickens County as the tax commissioner.
Teachers of the year from all schools were recognized at a banquet Monday night at the Young Life Camp.
In the end, Jacqueline Tipton, an interesting art teacher at Hill City Elementary originally from Los Angeles, was named the Pickens County Teacher of the Year. See more about her and comments from the banquet in our print edition and e-edition now on sale.
Above, front row, are the teachers of the year from each of the schools: Jenni Shoffer, Jasper Elementary; Jacqueline Tipton, Hill City; Leah VanDoran Jasper Middle; Amanda Neighbors, Tate; Jennifer Blankenship, Harmony; Angela Quarles, Pickens High; and Marla Callahan Pickens Middle.
Back row are principals from each of the schools: Nonnie Weeks, Carlton Wilson, Neil Howell, Deb Longshore, Sherry Martin, Eddie McDonald and Chris LeMieux.