No progress in search for missing Michigan woman
BY JOHN ROBBINS Post-Tribune correspondent January 10, 2014 2:20PM
Teleka Patrick, a 30-year old Michigan woman, was last seen the night of Dec. 5. | Provided
Updated: February 16, 2014 6:11AM
The search continues for Teleka Patrick, a 30-year old Michigan woman last seen the night of Dec. 5.
Patrick’s abandoned car was found by Indiana State Police along Interstate 94, just east of the Burns Harbor/Porter exit in Indiana.
Patrick was last seen earlier that evening in a parking lot of the Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo, Mich., where she is a first-year medical resident.
Posters have been distributed seeking information on Patrick, an African-American woman described as 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighing 160 pounds, with a medium build, dark brown eyes and black hair.
Indiana State Police Sgt. Rick Strong said Patrick’s car was found 30 feet off the pavement with a flat left front tire.
No other signs of mechanical or physical damage to the car were noted. The car, a gold 1997 Lexus, was taken to the state police impound lot in Lowell, where it remains.
“There are no developments or leads in the case. She is still listed as a missing person,” Strong said.
Since there is no evidence of a crime having been committed, local police agencies are taking a hand’s off approach to the case.
Indiana State Police Sgt. Ann Wojas said ISP is assisting the Kalamazoo County sheriff in the investigation but that, “we’re not the lead agency in the investigation. We just found the car.”
The lead agency in the woman’s disappearance is the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Department. Kalamazoo Undersheriff Paul Matyas recently issued a statement saying the department expects to finish its investigation soon.
“Our department is not making any comments regarding the investigation,” Matyas said Tuesday.
“We hope to, in another week, be able to put something out that would update our investigation.”
Local police agencies are not actively involved in the search, either.
Shayna Dujmovich, a part-time officer for the Burns Harbor police, said officers helped search the area and are keeping an eye out for her, but that is the extent of their activities.
A Porter police department dispatcher said they are not actively involved in the investigation. Sgt. Larry LaFlower, public information officer with the Porter County Sheriff’s Department, said a retired sheriff’s department sergeant used his bloodhound to help in the initial search for the missing woman.
Patrick’s mother, Irene Patrick, contacted in Florida, would not discuss the disappearance. She referred calls to a private investigator in Michigan who had been hired to look for her.
That investigator, Jim Carlin, called the case “an enigma.”
“That woman is intelligent. She loved her job,” said Carlin, of Jusinian Investigative Services in Battle Creek, Mich.
Carlin dismissed reports that Patrick may have been emotionally distressed, saying he is “baffled that no one at the hospital saw something like this coming. No one noted any behavioral difficulty.”
No one knows why Teleka left Kalamazoo after attempting to register at a hotel using cash. “She got a call at the hospital that distressed her and she clearly left (Kalamzoo) afraid of something,” said Carlin.
Kalamazoo sheriff’s investigators believe she reached Indiana “of her own volition, but scared,” Carlin said.
As the length of time since the disappearance increases, Carlin is still optimistic.
“I’m convinced she’s alive,” he said. “Whatever happened, happened at that mile marker in Indiana.”
Anyone with information about the disappearance of Patrick can contact the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Department at (269) 383-8748.