KALAMAZOO, Mich. (April 9, 2014) – The person found in Lakes Charles in Porter, Indiana is 30-year-old Teleka Patrick, according to authorities.
“Right now, short of anything big, this investigation will be closed,” Kalamazoo County Sheriff Richard Fuller said to members of the media.
During a press conference this morning, Fuller said it appears Patrick drowned in the lake.
However, investigators are waiting on toxicology results for an official cause of death.
“This morning, the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office was officially notified through additional forensic examination, the female has been positively identified as that of Dr. Teleka Patrick,” Fuller said.
Patrick was a bright young woman who was rising in her profession. Teleka Patrick earned dual doctorate degrees in California. She then moved to Kalamazoo to attend Western Michigan University’s medical school for her residency in psychiatry.
However, her life turned tragic. It was cut short. Patrick disappeared, and her car was found abandoned along I-94 in Porter, Indiana in December.
“Through interviews and investigations, detectives learned that Teleka had become troubled at previous times and that this was not a recent behavioral issue,” Fuller explained.
He added, “We learned that she had exhibited this behavior before and in those cases, she would leave urgently, whenever she had left, it’d be for a day or so, and in each case, it turns out she would check into a motel or a hotel.”
Detectives believe Patrick drove to Indiana on her own. It’s an area Kalamazoo County Sheriff Richard Fuller said 50 investigators searched just five days before she was found.
“The area was searched several times on foot and by air, by the Indiana State Police and the FBI, and even family, with no clues turning up,” Fuller said.
In January, detectives drilled holes and used sonar equipment on a nearby frozen lake. However, they were limited by the ice. Sunday morning, four months to the day Patrick was reported missing, a fisherman found her body in that lake in about 3 feet of water.
Sheriff Fuller said items found in the woman’s pockets indicated the body was indeed Teleka Patrick.
“It was discovered in the clothing of this female, were a set of car keys, 100 dollars in cash and a pager,” he said.
All those items had been missing during the investigation, but a coroner positively identified the body by matching a fingerprint.
“We believe her true destination was the St. Louis area, where she appeared intent on meeting an old acquaintance,” the sheriff said.
Fuller said they never shared that information publicly and hoped Patrick might find a safe place and eventually contact authorities. That friend in St. Louis is James Davis. According to court documents, Davis was the last person to hear from Patrick through text messages.
“I was supposed to be the protector. You know, the man`s supposed to look out for her and I just totally let her down. Something`s going on most definitely now,” Davis told FOX 17 on Tuesday.
A world-wide community that’s voiced support for the family through social media continues to post their condolences.
Patrick’s family has kept faith the entire time, through the ups and downs of tips that stirred false hope.
The family released a statement, saying in part: “Over the past several months, you have gotten to know Teleka Cassandra Patrick. You`ve gotten to know her how we knew her and you`ve seen her bright and caring smile. She was beautiful, intelligent, and God-fearing. You`ve prayed for Teleka, cried for Teleka, and worked to find Teleka and we thank you. We thank you for walking this difficult journey with our family.
As Sheriff Fuller described, questions remain as to what may have been troubling Patrick. At this point, foul play isn’t suspected in her death. Investigators are waiting on toxicology results. That could take weeks.