KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WXYZ) - A beautiful and bright young doctor suddenly vanishes from Michigan. She's been missing for three months, and her disappearance has made headlines around the country.
They are haunting images: videos on YouTube made for a mystery lover.
Among the thousands who've watched those recordings are countless cops and Battle Creek private investigator Jim Carlin. They are all searching for any clues.
"It's just as if she vaporized," Carlin told 7 Action News Investigator Heather Catallo.
What happened to Dr. Teleka Patrick?
It's a mystery that's captured America's attention since the 30-year-old first-year psychiatry resident vanished from Kalamazoo three months ago.
Dr. Patrick's life seemed to be unraveling on the night of December 5th when she tried to check into a hotel in Kalamazoo – even though she lived nearby. Security cameras show the hotel shuttle bus taking Dr. Patrick back to her car at the hospital where she worked.
911 calls detail what drivers saw within hours along I-94 near Portage Indiana, where they reported seeing Patrick's 1997 Gold Lexus ES300.
911 Dispatch: "911 what's the exact location of your emergency?"
Driver: "It's on I-94 right before mile marker 23, there's a car off the road, down in the ditch."
Driver: "There's a car in the ditch… The lights are on in the car."
(Hear the calls in the video player above)
The car had a flat tire. Her credit cards and ID were inside.
Teleka Patrick's car drove about 40 feet off the side of the highway before stopping. Later, a bloodhound tracked her scent directly from where the car stopped to the side of the road. And that's where the trail goes cold.
"Something caused her to be in distress on that particular night," said Carlin.
Detectives quickly found many possibilities. As they back-tracked from the car, they found a twisted trail online – and a seemingly tormented life.
There were videos – 20,000 tweets – and questions for two men.
Patrick's tweets seem to be directed to one man in particular – gospel singer Marvin Sapp.
The Grand Rapids-based pastor got a Personal Protection Order against Dr. Patrick last September.
The 7 Investigators obtained this letter that Sapp's church sent to Patrick, revoking her membership because of "inappropriate emails and pictures" sent to Pastor Sapp. The letter also alleges Dr. Patrick showed up at Sapp's home.
"The pastor is nothing more than an innocent victim of an apparent stalking. The sheriff's office has been in contact with him for quite some time, and he has been thoroughly cooperative," said Kalamazoo County Sheriff Richard Fuller III.
Sapp did not return calls seeking comment.
Another man that Kalamazoo County Sheriff's detectives interviewed is Teleka Patrick's friend, James Arthur Davis. Davis is the last person she texted. Investigators used this search warrant to examine their phone records, and now believe Patrick was on her to way to meet the 43-year-old in St. Louis when her car went off the road. They do not consider him a suspect. Davis did not return our calls seeking comment.
Despite the dead ends, incredibly, there is hope.
"Do you believe she's still alive," asked Catallo.
"Yes," said Carlin. He believes someone picked up Dr. Patrick on the side of I-94.
"Maybe somebody stopped right away. She told them that she was running from somebody, people want to help others," said Carlin.
Even though many of Dr. Patrick's tweets have prompted some to question whether the psychiatrist in training is actually suffering from schizophrenia herself, no one knows of an official diagnosis.
"It makes me sad that she may have been struggling and we were not able to help her," said Tenesha Patrick, Teleka Patrick's sister.
Tenesha says her big sister would never go three months without contacting her family and she fears the worst.
"She's not just a topic of speculation and salacious gossip. She is a real loving dear person whose family is longing for her and missing her every day… Put her face – etch it in your memory so that when you see her, if you see her, you will remember and call someone, say something," said Tenesha Patrick.
"If anyone was driving on I-94 on the night of December 5, 2013 between 8:00 and 10:00 PM -- if you saw anyone pick up anyone on the side of the road, if you saw any cars next to each other on the side of the road, particularly near Portage. Just think about maybe, what did you see?"
Teleka Patrick did not have her phone with her when she vanished.
If you know anything about her whereabouts, detectives want to hear from you. A $25,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to Teleka being found.
Dr. Patrick posted a number of mysterious videos online before her disappearance. Who do you think she is speaking to in the clip below?
To report any information on Teleka's whereabouts, contact:
Kalamazoo County Sheriff 269-383-8821
Private Investigator Jim Carlin 269-753-1181
For more information about this
case, go here: https://www.facebook.com/FindTeleka and here: http://www.fbi.gov/wanted/kidnap/taleka-cassandra-patrick/view .
If you have a story tip for Heather, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 248-827-4473