GRIFFITH — Police officers, Lake Hills Fire Department and Illiana Search and Rescue gathered early Saturday to search for a missing woman with mental disabilities who was last seen a week ago.
The 48-year-old woman, Dushawna Glover, was seen just before 6 a.m. May 16 walking away from her group home at 35th and Cline avenues, according to police.
Saturday's search did not turn up any new leads, said Griffith police Cmdr. Keith Martin.
Officials spent seven hours searching a marshy area north of River Road where Glover was last seen, as well as the east side of the railroad tracks in the area.
Video obtained by a nearby business shows Glover walking northbound from the area of River Road and Indiana Avenue and into a wooded lowland area before disappearing from the camera's view, police said.
A Silver Alert, social media posts and news releases to area media outlets were issued May 16.
Glover is described as an African American woman who is about 5 feet tall and weighs around 220 pounds. She was believed to be wearing blue jeans, a light-colored top, denim shirt or jacket.
Much of the area remains under water, Martin said, prohibiting officers from searching the entire area. In some cases, K-9s were swimming as they searched because the water was so deep.
"We've been fighting the water and the rain most of the week," he said.
Martin said officers plan to keep an eye on water levels, adding he believes the Department of Natural Resources is going to search again in a couple of days.
"We're not just keeping our focus on that area. We're still following up on leads that people call in where they think she may have been seen in other places," Martin said. "None of those have come to come to fruition either, but we're going to keep following up on every lead that we get, and then we're going to keep searching that area, too.
Hopefully, the weather will give us a break where we can actually get in there and be even more thorough than what we have been."
Officers have been scouring the area, first conducting searches on foot with a K-9 and the Lake County Sheriff's helicopter, police said.
Martin said anyone who sees Glover should call 911 immediately so local agencies can respond to the tip right away.
Glover's niece, Vetrice Seals, told The Times the family is experiencing "extreme highs and extreme lows."
"(The) family is just exhausted and worried out of our minds," Seals said. "We don't know what to do at this point. We are going to do another search party on Tuesday, the 26th, which is Shawnda's birthday."
She later added: "We're hopeful that we'll find her alive since they haven't found her in the swamp area yet."
Seals said the disappearance is unlike her aunt, who has the mental capacity of a 7-10 year old.
"We're worried sick. We had to take some time today to rest a little bit; everybody has been up and not getting any rest," Seals said. "COVID has not gone anywhere. We're out talking to people, trying to be as protected as we can because we also have to worry about our health and the health of everybody else. We're trying to put feelings aside (and) focus on getting Shawnda back home to us. (Our) main, No. 1 focus is getting her back home."
Glover lives in an assisted living home, where care is provided by Tradewinds. She has a roommate, but they do not receive 24-hour care, Seals said.
"I think the system failed her," Seals said, adding she and her mother have advocated for 24-hour care for Glover.
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