PORTER, Ind. (WWJ/AP) – A northwestern Indiana coroner’s office says until an autopsy is completed it won’t confirm whether a body found floating atop a lake is that of a Michigan doctor missing since December.
Doris Amling of the Porter County coroner’s office told WWJ Newsradio 950 an autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday morning in hopes of determining the cause of death and identity. He said he hoped to have the results by 1 p.m. that day.
Indiana State Police say divers found the remains of an African American female Lake Charles in the town of Porter, about 15 miles east of Gary, after a fisherman reported spotting something suspicious Sunday morning.
Police and FBI agents searched the same lake on Jan. 23 for 30-year-old Dr. Teleka Patrick of Kalamazoo, Mich., without finding anything related to her disappearance.
The body was found just yards away from where police discovered Patrick’s car, in a ditch along I-94.
“It’s an area that’s been searched repeatedly,” said Lorin Springer, at WWJ’s sister station, WWMT in Kalamazoo. “The corner said that there’s a possibility that, you know, a body could have been trapped there for some time … possibly underneath some ice.”
Investigators are hopeful they can use dental records to make a positive ID, but may have to seek DNA and that could further delay the results.
Authorities said Patrick had been acting strangely and erratically with colleagues and others in the hours before her disappearance on Dec. 5.
Kalamazoo County Sheriff Richard Fuller said Patrick told colleagues she was going to Chicago to visit a relative, but she also told another colleague she needed money and a ride to a nearby hotel.
Security footage shows that she went to the hotel, looked around and appeared to want a room but never requested one. She asked for a ride to the hospital, where she was a psychiatric resident, to pick up some things.
Once there, she said she would not be returning to the hotel, and the driver saw her get into a car and drive away, the sheriff said.
Patrick wasn’t seen or heard from after that. Patrick’s wallet, cash and identification were in her abandoned car, but not her keys.
In another strange twist, it was reported that Patrick had been stalking a popular pastor and gospel singer. Marvin Sapp filed a request for a personal protection order against Patrick after she sent him more than 400 pages of correspondence and claimed to be his wife.
It’s also been alleged that the young doctor moved from California to Kalamazoo so she could be close to Sapp.
Patrick was raised in New York and graduated with a medical degree and a doctorate in biochemistry from Loma Linda University in California. She had been serving her medical residency at Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo.
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