Story Summary

Missing Kalamazoo Woman Teleka Patrick

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Teleka Patrick, 30, was reported missing Dec. 6 after failing to show up to work.

She was last seen the night before after being dropped off at her vehicle, which was found along I-94 in Indiana.

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KISSIMMEE, Florida (March 11, 2014) – Teleka Patrick’s family reached out to FOX 17, breaking their silence after their daughter, who had been missing four months, is found dead in an Indiana lake.

Investigators say they’re preparing to close the case, something that’s not sitting well with Teleka’s parents.

“That’s my child. 30 years old. Ready for life. Has so much to offer! Ready to serve and someone snuffed her out.” Teleka’s mother Irene Patrick said.

She says she can’t understand why foul play is not being considered.

It was a difficult week after an agonizing four months of not knowing where their daughter was.  The family is unsatisfied with the information that came out in Wednesday’s press conference held by the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Department.

“So many things, seems like they changed their story every time,” Irene said.

The Patrick’s say there’s no proof Teleka was alone in her car before it went off the highway, something investigators concluded.

The devastated parents want to know if Grand Rapids Pastor Marvin Sapp knows anything about Teleka’s disappearance.

Sapp took out a restraining order against Teleka months before her disappearance.  Investigators say he is not a suspect, but rather “an innocent victim of an apparent stalking.”

Friday, a second autopsy was performed on Teleka’s bodywith Private Investigator Jim Carlin present.

“The other exam did not even open the nasal cavity, which would be conclusive. It still is asphyxiation by drowning, but at least now the body can be returned to Florida for funeral on the 25th,” Carlin said.

The Patrick’s say they want a “true investigation” and that what they’ve heard is far from the truth.  They say they’re not going to settle for that.

“We have to do what’s necessary to bring justice for Teleka,” Irene said.

 

According to the ‘Remember Teleka’ Facebook page:

The Funeral for Teleka Patrick will be held on

Friday, April 25, 2014 at 10 A.M. at

Mt Sinai SDA Church

2600 Orange Center Boulevard

Orlando, FL 32805

Burial and repast to follow.

 

Darren Cunningham contributed to this report.

KISSIMMEE, Florida (April 11, 2014) — Just days after learning of their daughter’s death, Teleka Patrick’s mother and father are speaking out for the first time.

The couple and their private investigator reached out to FOX 17. They want to let the public know they’re still actively looking for answers in their daughter’s death. They’re calling for a second autopsy to be performed.

The Patricks spoke with me from their Florida home.

“I was devastated. I pounded. I cried. I did everything, run down the street. The neighbors had to restrain me.
There are so many questions still unanswered. We weren’t hoping for this news,” Irene Patrick, Teleka’s mother said.

It’s been a hard week after an agonizing four months of not knowing where their daughter was.

“I still can’t understand why they’re saying there’s no foul play,” Patrick said.

The family is unsatisfied with the information that came out in the second and final press conference Wednesday by the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Department.

“So many things. Seems like they changed their story every time,” she said.

The night Patrick went to the Radisson Hotel, at one point, authorities said Patrick wanted to check into a room
but didn’t have enough cash.

Now it’s said that she had expressed intentions to return. It’s believed Patrick changed her mind and drove to Indiana on her own.
Irene patrick said there’s no proof that her daughter was in the car alone on that fateful trip.

“She’s dead. She doesn’t have a voice. She can’t speak and most of these things are unfounded,” Mrs. Patrick said.

Detectives learned through witness statements that Patrick disappeared on occasion and would check into motels for short stints.
Irene Patrick wants more proof of that.

Also, the family isn’t buying the revelation that Patrick may have been going to St. Louis to visit a friend.

“Those are assumptions. Nobody knew where she was going. She definitely, according to everything, running for safety of her life,” Patrick said.

Now the family is calling for a second autopsy to be performed. The Patricks have no specific call to authorities.

“I don’t think they can help us. Because all along, we couldn’t interrupt the investigation process. But now we really have to seek answers. We have to do what’s necessary to bring justice for Teleka,” she said.

Mrs. Patrick said, “Yes, we wanted closure, but we hoped we had good closure. But this is no closure.”

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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.

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KALAMAZOO, Mich. – The family of Kalamazoo Doctor Teleka Patrick, who went missing four months ago, released a statement Wednesday, just minutes after investigators confirmed it was Patrick’s body that was pulled from an Indiana lake over the weekend.
The ‘Find Teleka’ Facebook page posted this statement to its wall Thursday morning:
Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.”Lamentations 3:22-23.  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. Teleka’s death is not the ending we had hoped for, however, the journey does not end here. 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.
Thank you for your prayers. Please respect our privacy in this difficult time.The Patrick Family
Jim Carlin, the family’s private investigator, posted this statement to the ‘Find Teleka’ Facebook page:
Thank you to all who prayed and supported us over these last four difficult months. It was not the resolution we had hoped for, but at least the Patrick family will be able to go to their beloved daughter’s final resting place to grieve and talk to her. Too many other families in these tragic circumstances often never know where their loved ones may have gone. I know that the faith that helped the Patrick will continue, and the Lord will comfort them going forth.

PORTER COUNTY, Ind. – The Indiana State Police and the Lake County coroner’s office have identified the woman pulled from Lake Charles as Teleka Patrick.

On Wednesday, ISP issued a press release confirming the body is that of the 30-year-old-doctor who disappeared back in December.

During a press conference in Kalamazoo, Sheriff Richard Fuller said there were no signs of trauma. A set of keys was found in the clothing on the body, and the only damage to her clothes were easily caused by walking through the foliage between the car and the lake. The car and the place where her body was found “were not very far apart.” Patrick’s wallet with identification and credit cards was found in the car, but the keys were gone.

The sheriff reviewed the case in detail, and very little was new until he confirmed the report from the Indiana State Police.

Teleka Patrick had been trouble “in previous times,” Fuller said, and her behavior prior to her disappearance was consistent with previous behavior when she was troubled: she would leave the area and check into a hotel. The last time she was seen alive was in the lobby of the Kalamazoo Radisson when she talked to hotel staff and was given a ride to Borgess Medical Center where she worked. There is “zero indication” other than Teleka was somebody who was troubled and who left the area on her own.

Investigators have come to believe Patrick was not headed for Chicago to see a relative as previously believed, rather, she was headed to St. Louis to see a friend. FOX 17 talked to that friend April 8, and he theorized someone abducted or killed her.

As to how Patrick ended up in the lake, Sheriff Fuller described the lake as being surrounded by a berm. Having walked the area himself, he said that someone walking there at night would probably not see the sharp slope to the water and could easily have fallen in.

Why did the search miss her body? Fuller noted that the search of the area where Patrick’s car was found did not get underway in earnest until five days after the car was found. During that time, the weather changed. The length of time that passed was explained in Fuller’s description of the order of events: Patrick drove down I-94 on December 5. She was not reported as a missing person until December 6. Not knowing Patrick had driven on I-94 in Indiana, attention did not shift in the investigation until investigators discovered through a database that her car had been impounded by ISP after it was found unoccupied along the highway.

The flat tire on the car was explained by the fact that the car had been in a body shop, and an attendant warned Patrick the car had a bad tire. If the tire had not gone flat, is it likely that Patrick would have continued driving to St. Louis, said Sheriff Fuller.

Borgess Hospital, where Patrick worked, released a statement Thursday reading, “We are heartbroken to hear of the death of Teleka Patrick. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and loved ones. May she rest in peace.”

Press Release

 

News
04/09/14

Updates Expected in Teleka Patrick Case

teleka patrick 2KALAMAZOO, Mich. (April 9, 2014) — Questions about the disappearance of Teleka Patrick may be answered Wednesday morning when the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Department holds a press conference to update the case.

The media conference comes just days after the body of a woman was pulled from a lake in Indiana not far from where Teleka Patrick’s car was discovered back in December.

Officials have not yet identified the body, but Teleka’s family has posted on the Find Teleka Facebook page that they were informed the body may be their daughter.

Wednesday’s press conference is expected to start at 10:00 a.m.  We plan to stream it live when it begins here on fox17online.com

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — (April 8, 2014) Officials in Indiana said as of Tuesday evening they still were unable to obtain a positive identification for the woman found in Lake Charles in Porter Indiana on April, 6.

The body may be that of Teleka Patrick, the doctor from Kalamazoo that went missing on December, 5, 2013.

Her car was found abandoned just yards away from that lake.

The Porter County Coroner said the body appeared to have been in the water for quite some time making identification more difficult.

“I`m just at a loss for words,” said James Davis of St. Louis, MO.

The long-time friend of Teleka Patrick said it’s still hard for him to come to terms with the idea that the woman that was found in Lake Charles in Porter Indiana may be that of his missing friend.

“Not feeling very well. Not taking it very well,” said Davis upon hearing the news.

Davis said he met Teleka in California a number of years ago and remained close with her after he moved to Saint Louis, Missouri and she moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan.

He said she called him right before she disappeared, afraid that someone was following her.

She mentioned something about fears regarding a possible security team.

Davis feels those fears may now be proven to be founded.

“I think everything she was talking to me about it really happened.  I don`t think she`s delusional,” said Davis.

He said Teleka asked him to drive to Kalamazoo because she was concerned for her safety.

Davis told her because of work he’d have to wait a couple of days.

He feels that Teleka jumped in the car to go see him.

“There`s no doubt in my mind that she was coming to see me. We were so close and I just feel like I let her down. Because she had been telling me about it for so long, he said, regarding the fears for her safety.

Davis said when he first heard the news it could be Teleka who was discovered in the lake, he suspected foul play.

“Unless she was running and ran into the lake and she just didn`t know because it was so dark and she hit some ice…that`s the only theory I can think of besides someone abducting her and killing her.  That`s the only thing I can think of,” said Davis.

He said that Teleka would not have attempted suicide.

Davis hopes that investigators take a serious look at all of those people that were in Teleka’s life at the time she disappeared, including friends and family, to get to the bottom of what happened to her.

A press conference is scheduled in Kalamazoo Wednesday morning for an update from the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office on the case.

Lake Charles

Lake Charles, Porter, Ind.

PORTER COUNTY, Ind. (April 8, 2013) — The Porter County coroner was unable to make a positive identification on the body that was found in Lake Charles on Sunday morning.

Chuck Harris, the county coroner, initially planned to have preliminary autopsy results by Tuesday afternoon.

It’s not clear why they were unable to make an identification. The coroner’s office said they will issue a press release Wednesday morning.

The body is identified as a black woman who was wearing dark clothing. A description that matches what missing Kalamazoo doctor, Teleka Patrick was wearing the last time she was seen.

Patrick’s family issued a statement on Sunday, saying they were in “mourning” and thanked people for their prayers.

Lake Charles

Lake Charles, Porter, Ind.

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.

The Last Person Known To Have Contact With Teleka Speaks Out

Missing Teleka Patrick

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.

 

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