Missing doctor Teleka Patrick erratic before disappearance, Kalamazoo Sheriff says

5:34 PM, Jan 22, 2014   |    comments
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  • Teleka Patrick.
  • Teleka Patrick was last seen Dec. 6 in Kalamazoo.

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WZZM/Det. Free Press) -- The night a Kalamazoo medical resident disappeared, a coworker drove her to a downtown hotel, where her behavior led an employee to ask whether she was OK.

Hours later, on the evening of Dec. 5, the Indiana State Police received a 911 call about a vehicle driving erratically along I-94, speeding up to about 85 m.p.h., then slowing down along the median.

Shortly thereafter, a car with a flat tire was found in a ditch about 40 feet off the interstate near mile marker 23.

Inside the 1997 Lexus ES 300 were Teleka Patrick's wallet and driver's license.

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Days later - as the Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Office investigated the 30-year-old's disappearance and learned her car was in Indiana - authorities brought out a bloodhound. Police said they believe she walked to the edge of the roadway, "where the scent was lost," Kalamazoo County Sheriff Richard Fuller III said during a news conference today.

The whereabouts of Patrick - who detectives learned may have exhibited delusional behavior at times - remain a mystery.

"We do not know where Teleka Patrick is at this time," Fuller said.

It's not the first time she has disappeared. Fuller said that in the past, Patrick had urgently left where she was for a short period of time. But never for this long, he said.

Today, the sheriff's office gave a detailed account of Patrick's disappearance in December.

The first-year resident in Western Michigan University's medical school program came to Kalamazoo in July. When she was interviewed by the school, she indicated she had a fiancé and wanted to be closer to that person, Fuller said.

It's unclear whom she was talking about, but in September well-known gospel singer Marvin Sapp filed a personal protection order against Patrick, saying she moved from California to Michigan, joined his church in Grand Rapids, contacted his children and claimed he was her husband. The PPO accuses Patrick of stalking.

Fuller called Sapp "an innocent victim of an apparent stalking."

According to the sheriff's office, when Patrick left on Dec. 5 from the Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo, where she worked, she left her cell phone, smock and hospital property in her locker. Her social media accounts have been deleted and since she disappeared, there has been no activity on her credit cards or bank accounts, Fuller said.

Here's what police said happened on Dec. 5:

Patrick worked her shift at the medical center, telling a coworker that she was going to Chicago during the weekend. She never arrived, police said. At 7:30 the night she vanished, Patrick sought a ride from a coworker, telling that person that she had lost her wallet and needed money.

Her coworker gave her $100 and a ride to the Radisson hotel downtown.

During the drive, the coworker told police, Patrick was acting "strange," Fuller said.

When Patrick arrived at the hotel, she walked around the lobby, not immediately going to the counter. When she went up to the counter, she didn't say she wanted a room, but indicated she did, though she had no luggage, no identification and not enough cash, Fuller said.

A hotel shuttle took Patrick back to the medical center, where she walked toward her vehicle.

About 10 p.m. EST, a 911 call came into the Indiana State Police that a person was driving erratically on I-94 westbound. Soon, a second call came in about a car seen off of the side of the interstate.

At 10:14 p.m., Indiana authorities found and impounded the car, which had a flat tire. The keys were not in the car, police said.

On Dec. 6, Patrick didn't show up for work. A medical school staff member filed a missing-person's report with the sheriff's office. Patrick, according to police, had told staffers at the medical center that she was driving a white rental vehicle because her car was in an auto shop.

But on Dec. 10, police learned that her car was in Indiana. Patrick, Fuller said, had picked up her Lexus on Dec. 3 from an auto shop, which told her that her tires were bad and needed to be replaced.

Fuller said there is no surveillance footage or photographs of Patrick alongside of the roadway or a nearby truck stop.

Patrick's ex-husband previously told the Free Press that he believes Patrick suffers from mental illness, saying she suffered from delusions and paranoia.

Fuller said detectives have learned that Patrick may have exhibited delusional behavior before. He said authorities have checked with hospitals and hotels around there area where she went missing. Police, he said, have not received good tips regarding her disappearance.

Fuller said the sheriff's office is working with the Indiana State Police and the FBI as the investigation into Patrick's disappearance moves forward.

Anyone with information about Patrick's disappearance is asked to call the Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Office at 269-383-8748 or the Indiana State Police at 219-696-6242.

Contact Gina Damron: gdamron@freepress.com

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