How Weather May Have Delayed Discovery Of Body In NW Indiana
PORTER, Indiana (April 7, 2014) Chuck Harris, the Porter County Coroner, may be the man who helps to solve the mystery of what happened to Teleka Patrick.
“We have not had any bodies turn up in this lake so this is kind of unusual,” said Harris.
He interviewed with FOX 17 after the body of an African American woman was found wearing dark clothing in Lake Charles in Porter, Indiana Sunday.
The missing doctor from Kalamazoo was also spotted wearing dark clothes on surveillance cameras around the time she disappeared.
“She was wearing darker clothes from top to bottom. We`re not releasing what those clothes were at this time,” said Harris.
Teleka’s car was found just yards from the lake on December, 5 after witnesses said it appeared the driver was having car trouble.
April, 6, four months later, the body was discovered.
“There was a considerable amount of decomposition on the body. So, the body`s been in the water for a considerable amount of time,” said Harris.
If the body does belong to Teleka Patrick, why did it take so long to find her since her car was so close by?
Sgt. Ann Wojas of the Indiana State Police said although search crews had been combing the lake on foot and by boat since she disappeared there were challenges.
“We had a bad winter up here, not only with the cold, but also with the snow and I do know a number of times when we were out there searching for her, that the lake was frozen over,” said Sgt. Wojas.
“Plus the lake itself… The levels in the lake vary. Just like yesterday when they were walking along the shoreline. At one point, it`s knee high and then they walked a few feet and it was up to chest. So, I think at one point in that lake it`s about 23 to 24 feet deep,” she said.
Wojas said Indiana State Police crews searched the lake approximately eight times starting December, 5, with six searches thereafter and the last police search occurring on April, 1 with no luck.
She said when search crews were attempting to use sonar equipment to find Teleka, they were forced to drill a number of holes in the thick ice with an auger.
It was a fisherman that spotted the body Sunday, April, 6.
Harris promises a full investigation.
“We treat everybody that we find as a homicide to begin with, so, and then we kind of work down from there,” he said.