Although African Americans make up just 13 percent of the U.S. population, we account for 33 percent of the missing in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s database. Cases involving African Americans also tend to receive less media coverage than missing Whites, with missing men of color getting even less attention.
NewsOne has partnered with the Black and Missing Foundation and TV One to focus on the crisis of missing African Americans.
To be a part of the solution, NewsOne will profile a missing person weekly and provide tips about how to keep your loved ones safe and what to do if someone goes missing, while TV One‘s newest show, “Find Our Missing,” hosted by award-winning actress S. Epatha Merkerson, tells these stories in visual form.
Case Type: Other
Date of Birth: August 12, 1983
Missing Date: December 5, 2013
Age Now: 30
Missing City: Kalamazoo
Missing State: Michigan
Case Number: 13-11016
Hair Color: Black
Hair Length: Shoulder Length
Eye Color: Black
Wear Glasses or Contacts: Yes
Location Last Seen: Borgess Medical Center parking lot in Kalamazoo, MI.
Circumstances of Disappearance: Teleka Patrick, 30, was last seen December 5 in the parking lot of Borgess Medical Center in downtown Kalamazoo. Her abandoned vehicle was found in Indiana.
Patrick was reported missing when she didn’t show up for work on Friday morning. She was dropped off at her vehicle that was believed to have been parked in the Borgess parking lot. Her car was found abandoned in Indiana by a trooper on the night of December 5, on I-94 west bound, just east of the Porter/Burns Harbor exit in Indiana, after reports of an accident.
Police say a search with bloodhounds and all terrain vehicles have failed to turn up any leads. In addition, Michigan Live reports that police were not able to obtain footage from the Borgess Hospital parking lot because the hospital’s video system was not working properly.
Patrick’s parents have come from Florida to Michigan to help with the search. Police have said they don’t suspect foul play, despite the fact that Patrick left personal items such as her cell phone and identification at Borgess Hospital the night she went missing. The Patrick family is in disbelief of this theory. They say Teleka would never wander off without telling anyone where she was headed.
“I asked how could they say something like that, that’s misleading because with that in mind, folks have the hope everything’s OK, or there is a relaxation and they don’t go farther. They think it’s OK. So I think they should put something to qualify that statement,” Irene Patrick, Teleka’s mother, told a local television station.
The family has issued a gut-wrenching public plea:
It’s been seven days, and we still can’t find our daughter. Teleka Cassandra Patrick is our eldest and has always been the light of our lives. The dark unanswered questions: Where is she? Who is she with? Is she OK? Is she alive? The questions claw at us, tearing us to shreds. It takes all of our energy not to fall to the floor and scream our hearts out because it’s cold outside and she is just a girl. (She is) the sweetest, kindest and most hopeful girl you could ever meet, who was never too shy to show every single last one of her teeth when she smiled. Never too shy to help someone in need and never too shy to laugh out loud at her own sarcastic corny jokes (she thought she was hilarious). And oh, do we need to see her smile again.
She’s worked so, so hard every day of her life and recently finished a dual MD/PhD program at Loma Linda University (in California), before starting her residency at Borgess and Bronson Methodist Hospitals. That is where she went missing on December 5th 2013. The days since have been the most brutal, maddening all-consuming thing we have ever faced. It’s been seven days — seven prayerful, hopeful, terrifying, excruciating, sleepless, tear-filled days. Each day a lifetime. And she’s just a girl, a girl who loves sunflower seeds, playing her violin, sneaking white chocolate late at night, blasting her speakers to sing and dance to the latest Mary Mary song. A girl who loves cracking jokes on her little brother and sister Eddie and Tenesha and turning around and giving them sage old advice as if she were their grandmother. And now she’s lost.
We are holding fast to our lifeline, Jesus Christ. The inescapable harsh reality is that every day that goes by, every day she’s lost in the freezing Midwestern winter means the search gets tougher and infinitely more frustrating, and the odds grow scarcer that she will ever be found. And we can’t live with that. We won’t. We need help. We need a miracle and we need your help. Our entire extended network of friends and family has come together to help in the search to find Teleka, but it hasn’t been enough. There is a growing social media campaign (#findTeleka), a gofundme account which is helping us raise funds for the search effort ….and countless prayer lines that have been set up, but we need more help. We just do.
We are a family of deep faith, and we will celebrate together when Teleka is found. Our hearts are broken, but we continue to search, we continue to hope and pray and love against odds that get tougher by the day. And we won’t stop no matter what. Please continue to pray, donate and share her story with everyone in your network.
Mattahais & Irene Patrick
Last Seen Wearing: Unknown.
Identifying Marks or Characteristics: N/A
Police are asking that anyone who may have seen Teleka Patrick or the person who may have given her a ride or have any information regarding her whereabouts to call the Indiana State Police at (219) 696-6242 or the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Department at (269) 383-8748. You may also contact the Black and Missing Foundation’s confidential Tip Line.