Body Found In Indiana Lake ID’d As Michigan Doctor Missing Since December
KALAMAZOO (WWJ/AP) - Authorities say a body pulled from an Indiana lake has been positively identified as Michigan doctor who disappeared last December.
The Porter County Coroner’s Office said in a statement that Teleka Patrick’s body was pulled from Lake Charles in northwestern Indiana on Sunday. The site, about 15 miles east of Gary, is near where police found the 30-year-old’s car abandoned in a ditch along I-94 on Dec. 5, about 100 miles from the Kalamazoo hospital where she was a resident.
The coroner’s office said Wednesday morning it appears that Patrick drowned.
“The cause and manner of death is still pending further investigation, however the autopsy did not reveal any trauma to the body. Autopsy results to this point are consistent with a drowning death,” the statement said. The medical examiner also found car keys, cash and a pager in Patrick’s pockets.
Authorities pulled the body from Lake Charles on Sunday after a fisherman reported seeing something suspicious, but were awaiting autopsy results to provide a positive identification. Police and FBI agents previously searched the lake on Jan. 23 for Patrick without finding anything related to her disappearance.
Following the positive identification, Patrick’s family released a statement thanking everyone who prayed for and tried to find Patrick.
“Teleka’s death is not the ending we had hoped for, however, the journey does not end here,” the statement said. “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.”
Michigan authorities have said Patrick behaved strangely and erratically with colleagues and others before her disappearance.
Police say Patrick told colleagues on Dec. 5 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 Patrick walked inside a Kalamazoo 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, police said.
Police found the 30-year-old Patrick’s car in a ditch hours later along I-94 about 100 miles away in northern Indiana. They were dispatched to the area after receiving reports of a car speeding up and slowing down. Police searched the area, but found no signs of Patrick.
Patrick’s ex-husband, Ismael Calderon, told WOOD-TV he had concerns about her mental health; and that she may have moved to Michigan to get close to “somebody that she maybe felt that God wanted her to be with.”
Investigators also spoke about Grammy-nominated gospel singer Marvin Sapp securing a personal protection order against Patrick in September. Sapp, pastor of Lighthouse Full Life Center Church in Grand Rapids, alleged that Patrick claimed to be his wife, contacted his teenage children and had been to his home. He said she had joined his church after moving from California. Police, however, said Sapp was just “an innocent victim of an apparent stalking.”
It was also revealed by investigators that Patrick had appeared in several mysterious, romantic YouTube videos in which she would sing love songs to the camera. In the videos, Patrick’ blows kisses and signs off by saying, “Bye, I love you.”
A video from Nov. 10 shows an omelet and pancake breakfast Patrick prepared on a table set for two. “If you were here, this is what would be your plate,” she said.
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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