Police: Missing Michigan doctor’s body identified
By Carole Carlson firstname.lastname@example.org April 9, 2014 9:24AM
Kalamazoo County Sheriff Richard Fuller speaks with group of reporters following an April 9, 2014, press conference. Fuller said the body found Sunday in Lake Charles in Porter has been identified as missing doctor, Teleka Patrick. | Carole Carlson~Sun-Times Media
Patrick famly statement
“Teleka’s death is not the ending we had hoped for, however, the journey does not end here. As we mourn Teleka, we must also honor her; honor the life she led, honor her kind spirit and honor her devotion to God and others. Teleka had a passion and zest for life and no matter the circumstances that led up to her death, we are certain that she would not have taken her own life. Many questions remain, but what is certain is that we will love her forever and her legacy will continue to live on in the love we show to others.”
Updated: May 11, 2014 9:47AM
KALAMAZOO, Mich. — The mystery of a missing Michigan doctor came to an end Wednesday with the announcement that the young woman’s body recovered from Lake Charles in Porter was Teleka Patrick.
Patrick’s family did not attend Wednesday’s news conference at the Kalamazoo County sheriff’s office, where Sheriff Richard Fuller said autopsy results had positively identified the body found by a Porter fisherman on Sunday.
“Short of anything big, the investigation is closed,” Fuller said, adding that he spoke with Patrick’s sister before the news conference. “My heart goes out to her family and friends. They have asked for privacy.”
Fuller said Patrick apparently drowned after leaving her car on Interstate 94 near the Porter/Burns Harbor exit after it went into a ditch from a flat tire. The lake is about 75 yards from Patrick’s car, police said.
Fuller said there is a fence there , but it had breaks in several areas. He said there were no signs of foul play.
Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris said Wednesday that a right index finger on the body was a match to Patrick.
Patrick, 30, a first-year resident at the Western Michigan University School of Medicine, disappeared Dec. 5. She was last seen leaving the parking lot at the Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo where she worked as a psychiatry resident, working with mentally ill patients, including children.
Two hours after she left the hospital, motorists on I-94 called Indiana State Police, saying a Lexus was driving erratically up to speeds of 85 mph. Police said troopers found Patrick’s car in the ditch and did a short search but did not find anyone.
Fuller said Patrick left all of her hospital supplies and equipment in her locker, leading him to believe she did not plan to return when she left on Dec. 5.
“It appeared she had some issues,” he said.
Police soon learned that gospel singer Marvin Sapp, who lives in Grand Rapids, Mich., had filed a protective order against Patrick in September for allegedly stalking him. Fuller said Sapp was cooperative during the investigation and described him as “an innocent victim.”
On the night she disappeared, Patrick told a fellow worker she wanted to go downtown in Kalamazoo but had lost her wallet. The co-worker gave her $100 in cash, money that was recovered on her body along with her pager, the sheriff said.
The co-worker told police that Patrick acted “strange” while en route to a Kalamazoo hotel. Patrick didn’t ask for a hotel room, instead taking a hotel shuttle ride back to Borgess, Fuller said, and the shuttle driver saw her get into a Lexus and leave the hospital parking lot.
On Dec. 6, when Patrick didn’t show up for work, a hospital staffer filed a missing person report with police. Four days later, police found the 1997 Lexus in Indiana, Fuller said.
Police and the FBI conducted searches of the Porter area, including Lake Charles, but didn’t find Patrick or any clues. Shortly after Dec. 5, the weather turned snowy and frigid, hampering search efforts.
Meanwhile, police found no credit card activity, and all of Patrick’s social media accounts had been deleted.
Another search was done in January and again on April 1. Police also went door-to-door, talking with residents who live near the small one-acre lake.
On Sunday, fisherman Kevin Crepps spotted a body while fishing for bluegill. A state police dive crew recovered the body face down in about three feet of water.