Chesterton Tribune



Body recovered from Lake Charles may be missing Michigan woman

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The body of a woman was recovered on Sunday from Lake Charles in the Town of Porter, two months after the Indiana State Police and Michigan law enforcement searched the lake for evidence of a Kalamazoo woman who went missing in December and whose vehicle was found abandoned nearby on I-94.

Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris told the Chesterton Tribune on Sunday that the body appears to be an African-American woman’s. There were no obvious signs of trauma, he said, but “there was a considerable amount of decomposition.”

Harris was hoping to conduct an autopsy on Tuesday in Lake County. No identification has yet been made but Harris did say that he’s obtained the dental records of Teleka Cassandra Patrick, 33, who was last seen in the parking lot of a medical center in Kalamazoo on Thursday, Dec. 5, the same night an ISP trooper found her 1997 Lexus ES300 abandoned in the westbound lanes of I-94, just east of the Porter/Burns Harbor exit.

Lake Charles is located immediately north of I-94 and around 1,500 feet east of the Porter/Burns Harbor exit.

The Porter Fire Department’s Dive/Rescue Team recovered the body on Sunday, at 7:31 a.m., after a fisherman reported something suspicious in the water about six feet from shore on the southeast side of the lake, Fire Chief Lewis Craig told the Tribune.

Lake Charles--part of Porters municipal park system--is very small, about an acre in size, and is man-made, originally excavated during the construction of I-94 as a source of sand, Craig said.

The body was fully dressed in dark clothing, Harris said. He declined to say whether any items or personal possessions were found on or with the body.

On Jan. 23, the ISP’s Criminal Investigation Division, the Kalamazoo office of the FBI, and the Kalamazoo County and Washtenaw County, Mich., sheriff’s departments conducted an unsuccessful search of Lake Charles for evidence of the missing Patrick, using advanced sonar gear.

In advance of the search, a 55-hole grid system was drilled through the ice, then sonar placed in each of the holes. Data were then sent to a central computer on-site, which configured a complete and central map of the lake. Nothing of evidentiary value was found, however, the ISP said at the time.

Craig told the Tribune today that the PFD’s Dive/Rescue Team was not asked to participate in the Jan. 23 search of Lake Charles.




Posted 4/7/2014