GARY, Ind. (CBS) – Holly Womack vanished weeks ago after police dropped her off at a shelter.

CBS 2’s Pamela Jones reports on her family’s frantic search.

“The longer it takes, the reality is, she might not be OK,” the missing woman’s mother, Darlene Strickland, says tearfully.

She describes her worst fears about what may have happened to her daughter Womack, 30.

Womack disappeared three weeks ago in Gary and hasn’t been seen since.

Her mom says the trouble began with an argument at Womack’s ex-husband’s trailer Oct. 2.

“She left his premises that night, but I’m thinking she would have called him back,” Strickland says.

From her home in Georgia, Womack’s mom called Gary police, who picked the woman up.

Police dropped her off at a shelter at 4th and Connecticut.

But Womack’s family says they turned her away.

The mother with untreated bi-polar disorder started to wander.

“If she don’t take her medicine, she’s just really spaced out and not with the program,” Strickland says.

She’d walked a couple of blocks to the Steel City Buffet. Then she told her mom on a cell phone call that she’d spent a night outdoors at a gazebo — the only one downtown.

Her mother called police but they couldn’t find her.

With no leads, Gary police asked CBS 2 for help in the case.

Gary Police Lt. Lawrence Wright holds out hope Womack will be found alive. He says her last known whereabouts were near the bus station.

“I actually hope that at some point, in some act of desperation, she actually got on a bus and went someplace,” he says.

Womack’s ex-husband tells CBS 2 there was no trouble at the trailer. He believes Womack could have boarded a bus to meet a love interest in Texas. He said police confiscated her computer to check out that theory.

Womack is from Georgia and had moved to Gary in July.

Watch & Listen LIVE