KALAMAZOO, Mich. — An autopsy determined that a body found in an Indiana lake is that of a Michigan doctor who had been missing since December, a coroner today.
It was Teleka Patrick’s body that was pulled Sunday from Lake Charles in the northwest part of the state, Charles Harris, the coroner in Porter County, Ind., said in a news release. The lake is about 15 miles east of Gary and near where the 30-year-old doctor’s car was abandoned Dec. 5 along Interstate 94.
Investigation continues to determine the official the cause of death, the release said. Toxicology results were pending.
Kalamazoo County Sheriff Richard Fuller said at a news conference in Kalamazoo today morning that there were no signs of trauma or foul play found on the body. He said an initial cause of death appeared to be drowning.
“There were no indications of any trauma, other than a possible, accidental drowning,” Fuller said. “Short of anything big, this investigation will be closed. ... I do believe it’s as solved as it’s going to get.”
He said there was no sign that she intentionally stopped to go to the lake. Fuller said reports from other motorists that night indicated someone had been speeding up and slowing down along that stretch of the interstate. He said the lake would have been concealed in the dark behind a lot of thick bush.
Michigan authorities have said Patrick behaved strangely and erratically with colleagues and others in the hours before her disappearance.
She was last seen trying to get a room at a Kalamazoo hotel. She didn’t stay there and got a ride back to her car at Borgess Medical Center. Patrick had been in Michigan since last summer when she started a medical residency at Borgess.
Laura Eller, a spokeswoman for Western Michigan University’s medical school, said the first-year psychiatry resident was talented and well-liked by fellow residents and colleagues.
“She was highly intelligent,” Eller said. “Outwardly, all signs pointed to her being a very, very good resident. We have a process for selecting residents for training and ... she met or exceeded those standards.”
Grammy-nominated gospel singer Marvin Sapp had secured a personal protection order against Patrick in September. Sapp, pastor of Lighthouse Full Life Center Church in Grand Rapids, alleged that Patrick claimed to be his wife, contacted his teenage children and had been to his home. He said she had joined his church after moving from California.
Fuller previously said he believes Sapp was “an innocent victim of an apparent stalking” and has no evidence they ever met or had personal contact.
Patrick was raised in New York and graduated with a medical degree and a doctorate in biochemistry from Loma Linda University in California.