A body found Sunday in a northwest Indiana lake has been identified as a Kalamazoo, Mich., woman who went missing in December.
Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris said this morning that the Indiana State Police Crime Lab was able to identify the body as Teleka Patrick, 30, from a fingerprint lifted from the badly decomposed body, which was found in Lake Charles in the small community of Porter, Ind., by a state police trooper.
The cause of death was “consistent with” drowning, Harris said, though the determination of the official cause and manner of death is still pending results of toxicology tests. There were no signs of trauma to the body, Harris said.
A state police trooper found Patrick’s gold Lexus parked on Interstate 94 at an exit adjacent to Lake Charles the evening of Dec. 5. The following day, her co-workers reported she did not show up for work, an Indiana State Police press release stated. Patrick was last seen when she dropped off her car at the parking lot of a Kalamazoo medical center.
Patrick’s wallet was found inside the vehicle. Her pager and car keys were found on the body, which appeared to have been in the water for several months, Harris said.
Investigators said that on several previous occasions Patrick had urgently departed from Kalamazoo, staying away for a day or more and typically checking into a hotel. Her absence last December was far more extended, Kalamazoo County Sheriff Richard Fuller told a news conference.
"It was apparent that Teleka appeared to be troubled and was able to manage hiding her troubles very convincingly," he said.
Patrick was a first-year psychiatry resident at the Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine and worked at Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo.