GARY | The family of a woman who has been missing from a local mental health shelter is asking the public for help in finding her.
Eric Snyder, of Dyer, said his mother-in-law, Paula Palo, 59, walked away from a residential unit at Edgewater Systems for Balanced Living, 1100 W. Sixth Ave., earlier this month.
Chelsea Whittington, a spokeswoman for the city of Gary, said Friday police have a missing person's report on Palo on file.
Snyder said Palo has been under treatment for mental illness at Edgewater for the past two years. He said Palo usually is in constant contact with the family by telephone but stopped calling the first week in December.
Snyder said a representative of the treatment facility called him Dec. 9 to inform him his mother-in-law had left the previous day. He said patients there are allowed to make short visits to nearby stores.
He said she had walked away from the shelter on previous occasions but was quickly found and returned. He said the family has been trying to arrange to have her moved to a locked facility. He said she has been without her medicine during the three-week period.
Carrie Snyder, Palo's daughter, said one of her friends spotted her several days before Christmas near 15th and Broadway and called the family shortly afterward. Family members searched the area unsuccessfully for several days.
Anyone with information on Palo's disappearance is asked to call Gary police. The main desk number is (219) 881-1214.