Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Lake Charles body identified as missing Michigan woman

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The body recovered from Lake Charles in Porter on Sunday has been positively identified as that of a Kalamazoo, Mich., woman missing since Dec. 5.

Teleka Cassandra Patrick, 30, was identified by means of a fingerprint, Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris reported this morning.

Although both the cause and manner of Patrick’s death remain undetermined, pending further investigation, Harris said that no trauma was found on her body and that the results of an autopsy conducted on Tuesday in Lake County “to this point are consistent with a drowning death.”

Investigators initially were unable to lift a usable print from Patrick’s remains and some reconditioning work had to be done, Harris told the Chesterton Tribune this morning. Finally a good print of her right index finger was obtained and it proved to be “an exact match for records of Teleka.”

Confirming the identification of Patrick were her driver’s license, found in her abandoned car, as well as a set of keys to that car and Patrick’s pager, recovered from the clothing on the body, Harris said.

Patrick. a resident psychiatrist, was last seen in the parking lot of a medical center in Kalamazoo on Thursday, Dec. 5, the same night her 1997 Lexus ES300 was found abandoned 35 feet off westbound I-94, at a location directly south of Lake Charles.

On the night of Dec. 5, Lake Charles had frozen over, Harris said, and it’s possible that Patrick was trying to walk northbound across the lake--in the direction of the Travel Center of America truck stop on U.S. Highway 20--when she broke through the ice.

“The Porter County Coroner’s Office extends its condolences to the family of Teleka and hope this information helps bring them some closure,” Harris said.

The body was recovered on Sunday by the Porter Fire Department’s Dive/Rescue Team, after it had been sighted early in the morning by a fisherman on Lake Charles’ southeast corner. As it happens, the Indiana State Police, in conjunction with Michigan law enforcement, searched Lake Charles on Jan. 23, using a sonar probe placed into the lake through 55 separate holes drilled into the ice. Nothing of evidentiary value was found, however, and Porter Fire Chief Lewis Craig told the Tribune that the PFD had not been invited to participate in that search.

 

 

Posted 4/9/2014