Family members of a Gary woman and her young nephew now missing for six days say they are sleepless and anxious but still hopeful the pair will be found with the support of the community.
Diamond Bynum, 21, disappeared with 2-year-old King Walker from her home Saturday, police said.
Indiana search crews in Lake and Porter counties hit the streets again Thursday in an attempt to find the two, who authorities said were last spotted at a McDonald’s Monday and not seen since.
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Canine units have briefly picked up on the trace of them but then lost it, police said.
“It’s been so long, we thought we'd have this resolved by now,” Eugene Bynum Jr., Diamond's father and grandfather of the toddler, told NBC Chicago. “[But we’re] hopeful because we have so much help now. We just need the people of Gary to help us.”
The missing woman, who family members say is mentally challenged, has been without her medication.
“Diamond’s medication is very serious,” Eugene Bynum added. “It affects her moods. If she doesn't take it, she won’t think right at all … It just won't be very pretty sight. She may harm herself. I’m not sure.”
Lahsann Walker, Diamond's mother, said her daughter has an eating disorder where she doesn't know when she is full.
The family says they worry about how she is possibly taking care of herself and her beloved nephew on her own.
“This is the longest I’ve ever been away from King,” said the boy’s mother, Ariana Walker, as she wiped away tears. “I am trying to stay strong, but I don't even know what to do no more … I can't deal with it. It’s too much.”
Gary police have expanded their search to a grid covering several miles concentrating on the city’s West Side, near Diamond's Matthews Street home.
Gary Lt. Thomas Pawlak said police have not received any new leads on the two since the McDonald’s sighting.
“We're searching woods and vacant homes to see if they're in vacant house,” Lt. Pawlak said. “[We have] sent 10 teams out [searching the grid area.]”
On Thursday volunteers could be seen joining the manhunt to aid the search at the command center, where everyone knows the clock is ticking.
“The more they're gone, the more I don't know what happened,” a distraught Eugene Bynum said. “Diamond knows my number, she should've used it. We’re very worried now, extremely worried.”
A Go Fund Me page has been set up to aid in the search for Diamond Bynum and King Walker. You can donate to the search effort here.