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Kalamazoo Co. Sheriff confirms body found is that of Teleka Patrick

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Wednesday morning, the Kalamazoo County Sheriff announced that a body found floating in Lake Charles on Sunday morning is indeed that of missing doctor Teleka Patrick.

Her body was discovered just yards away from where her Lexus was found abandoned along I-94 in Porter, Indiana in early December.

Newschannel 3 has covered Patrick's disappearance extensively for months, and the case captured the attention of the nation.

Now, after four months of waiting and lots of speculation, we have a resolution--although the answers are not the ones anyone was hoping for--but there are still some lingering questions that may never be answered.

"I always said we were going to bring her home; I thought it was going to be on better circumstances," said Private Investigator Jim Carlin.

He tells Newschannel 3 that there are questions that will forever haunt him.

"I question, there was no ice on the lake; how did she get there, where did she go into?" he said.

Those questions came just minutes after learning that Patrick had been identified as a victim of an accidental drowning on Lake Charles.

"If you are not familiar with the area, you could basically end up falling right into the lake," Kalamazoo County Sheriff Richard Fuller said.

Fuller revealed Wednesday that Teleka was driving to St. Louis to see a friend--one she turned to in a time of need.

"This behavior has taken place in the past, always in the past it was a one or two day thing, and it usually culminated with a phone call to that person they would talk and she would go back to her life," Fuller said.

The psychiatry resident was last seen leaving Borgess the night of December 5, borrowing money and appearing paranoid.

"We will never get those answers; that is the difficult thing," Fuller said of her state.

Patrick's car was discovered hours later with a flat tire on I-94 in Porter, Indiana, just yards from where her body was found.

One hundred dollars, her hospital pager, and her car keys were all still in her pocket, and she was ultimately identified by the Porter County Coroner via fingerprints.

Though her family is grateful for answers in their grief, it's the outcome they never expected, as they all hoped to bring her home safely.

Patrick's family is also asking for privacy as they grieve, but released a statement Wednesday, which says in part:

"Over the past several months, you have gotten to know Teleka Cassandra Patrick. You've gotten to know her how we knew her and you've seen her bright and caring smile. She was beautiful, intelligent, and God-fearing. You've prayed for Teleka, cried for Teleka, and worked to find Teleka and we thank you. We thank you for walking this difficult journey with our family."

The family is currently in the process of arranging two memorial services for Teleka, both on the east coast.

She will be buried near her parents' home in Florida.

As for the investigation, Sheriff Fuller tells Newschannel 3 that despite waiting on toxicology reports to determine an exact cause of death, he believes the investigation is now complete, and it was simply a tragic accident.

Moments after Wednesday's news conference, Borgess Health released a tweet, saying, "Our thoughts and prayers are with the Patrick family. We are very heartbroken to hear about Teleka's death."