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.