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The family of Teleka Patrick received sad news today. A body recently pulled from Lake Charles in Indiana was positively identified as the missing 30-year-old doctor.
“I need to point out that there were no signs of trauma or foul play found on the body,” Kalamazoo County Sheriff Richard Fuller said during a news conference today. “My heart goes out to the family and friends, and we hope this gives them the closure that they need.”
“The cause of death seems to be consistent with that of an accidental drowning,” he added. Although the body was severely decomposed, authorities were able to confirm Patrick’s identify through fingerprints. Her hospital pager, car keys and an $100 cash were found in clothing on the body.
Patrick was reported missing last December. She was last seen alive at a Michigan medical center where she worked as a first-year resident.
In the early stages of the investigation, authorities questioned Grammy-nominated singer Marvin Sapp. He had secured a personal protection order against Patrick just three months before her disappearance. The gospel star said the doctor claimed to be his wife, contacted his children and even showed up at his home. Fuller concluded that Sapp was “an innocent victim of an apparent stalking.”
“Teleka’s death is not the ending we had hoped for, however, the journey does not end here,” Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris wrote to Patrick’s family on a Facebook page titled Find Teleka. “As we mourn Teleka, we must also honor her; honor the life she led, honor her kind spirit and honor her devotion to God and others.”