UPDATED Wednesday, April 9, 1:02 p.m. , ET —
Police confirm that the body they found Sunday in an Indiana lake is that of Dr. Teleka Patrick. Reports WOOD-TV:
During a news conference Wednesday in Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo County Sheriff Richard Fuller said it appeared that Patrick accidentally drowned in Lake Charles in Porter, Ind., although toxicology results were needed to confirm that….
Sheriff Fuller said they believe Patrick left Kalamazoo of her own free will on December 5th. They believe she may have been on her way to St. Louis to see an old friend who she had reached out to in the past. It was initially thought she was headed to Chicago.
According to authorities, Patrick drove to Indiana, became lost and then somehow ended up in the lake. Car keys, a pager and the $100 a co-worker gave her on December 5th were also recovered at the lake, according to Fuller.
According to numerous news reports, Patrick had been stalking Gospel singer and pastor Marvin Sapp and may have had undiagnosed mental health issues.
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 a 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 now believe a body found Sunday by a fisherman in Lake Charles in Porter, Ind., may be Patrick’s. Police have not provided final confirmation but a private investigator hired by Patrick’s family told Michigan Live they believe the body is Patrick’s.
“That’s my position,” private investigator Jim Carlin said in relation to the identity of the body. “Obviously the family wants to have it confirmed with the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office.”
A SCUBA team pulled the body from the lake Sunday afternoon following the fisherman’s morning discovery. An autopsy will be conducted to confirm the identity of the body. Indiana State Police Sgt. Rick Strong told Patrick’s family that there was a possibility the body was hers.
“But until we do the autopsy, we can’t say it’s her,” Strong told Michigan Live.
Patrick’s family issued a statement:
“Our family was informed that a body was found that may be our daughter Teleka Patrick,” the family said. “We are waiting for official confirmation from the Kalamazoo Sheriff’s Department and have no comment at this time. Thank you for your continued prayers — we ask that you respect our privacy at this difficult time.”
Patrick was likely suffering from an undiagnosed mental illness. After she disappeared, news broke that Patrick had been stalking Gospel singer and pastor Marvin Sapp.
Sapp, who is based in Grand Rapids, said Patrick joined his church, contacted his children, and came to his home. Sapp filed an order of protection against Patrick.
“I’m a national recording artist on the RCA label who she has claimed as her husband,” Sapp said in a affidavit requesting an order of protection, Michigan Live reported. “I have at least 400 pages of correspondence from her, which I have never responded to. (It) has gone on for at least a year … I travel and I need to insure that when I’m home or away my teenage children are covered.”
A series of tweets and web videos have also emerged. Patrick’s ex-husband said her refusal to seek mental treatment led to the end of their marriage.
Those who last had contact with Patrick also say she was acting strangely.
According to reports, the shuttle bus driver who dropped Patrick off said she was acting oddly. Carl H. Clatterbuck III, a private investigator said Patrick did not feel safe and wanted to be “off the grid.” She had borrowed $100 and planned to stay in a hotel in downtown Kalamazoo. When she couldn’t get a room, the shuttle bus driver gave her a ride back to her car.
Patrick then began reportedly ducking in between and behind cars as if she was hiding from someone, Clatterbuck told Michigan Live. The shuttle driver said he couldn’t see anyone who was following Patrick.
Police have been working on a theory that Patrick was suffering from a mental breakdown and was headed to relatives in Chicago, when her car ran off the road. Patrick’s family asked the public to look beyond the sensational news of Sapp’s stalking and odd videos and remember that their intelligent, driven daughter was missing and could be in danger.
Autopsy results are expected later this week and Patrick’s family, who have handled a very difficult situation with great dignity, may finally be able to get a small sense of closure.