Fisherman discovers woman's body in NW Ind. lake

Fisherman discovers woman's body in NW Ind. lake

Posted: Updated:
PORTER, Ind. (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

A local fisherman discovered the decomposed body of a woman floating in a small lake in northwest Indiana Sunday, just north of the westbound lanes of Interstate 94, the Post-Tribune is reporting.

An forensic autopsy this week could determine if it's the body of Dr. Taleka Patrick, 30, who went missing from Kalamazoo, Mich., on Dec. 5. Her gold, 1997 Lexus ES300 was found by the Indiana State Police that same night along westbound Interstate 94, near the Porter/Burns Harbor exit in Porter, Ind.

Authorities said the fisherman called Porter Police after seeing the body about 7:10 a.m. in Lake Charles, a small lake north of the interstate that's accessed by a dirt road. The Kalamazoo County Sheriff's office has joined the Porter County investigation, according to the Kalamazoo Gazette.

Michigan news crews arrived at the scene late Sunday afternoon.

State police, its SCUBA team, and Porter Fire and Rescue members recovered the woman's body. She wore a dark top and dark pants.

Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris said there was no identification on the body and no obvious signs of trauma, but there was also a "considerable amount" of decomposition.

Harris said Patrick's family was notified of the discovery of the body.

Authorities from the Kalamazoo County Sheriff's office just searched Lake Charles and the surrounding area on April 1. They also searched the lake with sonar equipment Jan. 23, but the searches didn't yield any clues.

On Dec. 5, Patrick finished a shift at the Borgess Medical Center where she spent the first year of a four-year residency in psychiatry in the Western Michigan School of Medicine.

She received a ride from a co-worker to a Kalamazoo hotel, tried unsuccessfully to get a room and was taken back to her Lexus in the Borgess parking lot.

Reports say she was seen driving out of the hospital parking about 8 p.m. About 10 p.m., Indiana State Police received calls about an erratic driver in a Lexus on westbound I-94.

Police found Patrick's car abandoned in a ditch with her wallet, credit cards and $7 in cash. Police believed the car went into the ditch because the front tire was flat.

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