Dr. Teleka Patrick has not been seen since December 5, 2013, when a hotel shuttle driver dropped her off at her gold 1997 Lexus at around 8 pm. The car was parked at the Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo, MI--Dr. Patrick started working there this summer and it was the first of a four year medical residency in Psychiatry.
Two hours later, the Indiana State Police arrived to find Dr. Patrick's Lexus abandoned on the Westbound side of I-94 in a ditch. Reportedly, the woman's vehicle had a flat tire and the keys were missing.
Later, her parents found her purse and cell phone at medical center where she worked.
I think this case illustrates why missing persons are the most difficult type of investigation.
Did Dr. Patrick encounter someone after the car problem and this is a crime?
Was she having problems with someone prior to that and her disappearance is the result of a crime?
With missing persons that do transition into crimes, the initial crime scene is often contaminated by the time investigators return and start processing it for clues.
Was she having personal problems and just decided to run-away from life for awhile?
I remember speaking to an investigator who worked on a local missing man case. The guy had just vanished. Investigators were certain they could find something on his computer or in speaking to his friends and family, but the case went stale. A couple of years later the missing man returned. He said that he bought a bus ticket to Baltimore and had lived in various homeless shelters since then.
People make irrational decisions.
It was reported that Dr. Patrick borrowed money and then was given a ride to a local hotel. She was then told that she did not have enough cash for a room, and that was when the hotel shuttle driver transported her back to her car.
Why would someone want to rent a hotel room when their apartment was only minutes away?
Why would she borrow money and leave her purse behind?
Does she have medical issues that make her a danger to herself?
So, is Dr. Patrick's disappearance the result of a crime, a choice by her, or someone in need of medical assistance?
Sadly and with what is the norm for many missing persons, investigators and family members are left with more questions than answers.
Note: Blogger friend Kimi from Faith Looks Up directed me to the effort by Dr. Patrick's family to raise funds to help defer the costs of a private investigator that was hired to assist with the case. If you are interested in helping, go to theFindTeleka site here.