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Teleka Patrick: Did mental illness play a role in her disappearance?

Teleka Patrick: Did mental illness play a role in her disappearance?

January 2, 2014

Teleka Patrick

***Scroll down for updates***

Medical student Teleka Patrick is still missing from Kalamazoo, Michigan and while her family and friends continue to look for her, Teleka’s ex-husband is now speaking to reporters. You can read my prior posts about Teleka’s disappearance HERE.

Teleka’s ex-husband gave an interview to WOODTV Wednesday, saying that she may have been suffering from a mental illness. According to Ismael Calderon, while they were married, Teleka started to have delusions, paranoia, and would hear voices.

He sounds pretty credible to me, and seems to be genuinely concerned about her.

Teleka’s family has hired a private investigator, and he too, has been talking to the media. Although the PI, Carl H. Clatterbuck III, said that Teleka has no history of mental illness, what he learned about her behavior that night is peculiar. In part, Clatterbuck said that Teleka had been acting as though she believed someone was following her, even though there hasn’t been anything to suggest that there was.

From M LIVE:

“I haven’t been given any information to date that would lead me to believe someone was following her,” Clatterbuck said Tuesday. “œI don’™t know why she would feel unsafe … this is all part of the mystery of this case, why she would be exhibiting these behaviors.”

Clatterbuck also gave out some new details about what happened the night Teleka disappeared.

  • Teleka borrowed $100 in cash from a fellow student to get a room at the downtown Radisson Plaza Hotel & Suites.
  • When she was unable to get a room at the hotel, the hotel courtesy shuttle driver gave her a ride back to her car, which was parked in the hospital parking lot. According to Clatterbuck, the driver told Kalamazoo County sheriff’s investigators that Teleka “ducked between the cars in the parking lot as if she didn’t want someone to see her or she thought somebody was watching her.”
  • The shuttle driver saw Teleka get into her car and pull out of the parking lot. He told police that he did not see anyone follow her.
  • Teleka had checked into a room at the hotel “about a month or two” prior to her disappearance, apparently because she felt unsafe.

So if Teleka suffered from a mental illness, what does this mean for the investigation?

This definitely brings to light new possibilities of what could have happened to her, or where she could be.

If Teleka was intent on laying low due to some delusions or paranoia she was experiencing (paying cash for the hotel room, leaving her cell phone at her work, etc), maybe she did leave on her own accord. Maybe she is alive and physically well somewhere, and it’s just a matter of finding out where she is.

On the other hand, it definitely raises the urgency in the situation, because if she is experiencing some sort of breakdown, she needs to get help for it ASAP.

Of course, the possibility that Teleka hitched a ride that night after she crashed her car and then met with foul play is still a viable scenario as well.

It’s a frustrating case and it’s been nearly a month since she disappeared. No matter what sort of mental state she was in, Teleka needs to be found and returned to her loved ones ASAP.

If you have any info about her whereabouts, please call the sheriff’s office at (269)383-8748, or contact Silent Observer at (269)343-2100 or visit www.kalamazoosilentobserver.com.

Clatterbuck can be reached at (269)349-8811.

UPDATE: 1/4/14 10:05 AM

It’s looking more and more like Teleka really did suffer from mental illness. Gospel singer Marvin Sapp was granted a restraining order against Teleka in September, three months prior to her disappearance. You can read the full restraining order HERE.

In the order, Marvin states that Teleka claimed that he was her husband, moved from California to Michigan, joined his Church, contacted his children, and had even gone to his home. He also claims that Teleka sent him over 400 pages of correspondence, none of which he has responded to.

The judge granted the order, marking the checkbox that says that Marvin was clearly being stalked by Teleka.

Teleka also started numerous Twitter accounts (which have since been deleted), and used it to write messages to an unnamed person. It doesn’t appear as though anyone ever responded to her, but it seems like she was convinced that someone was.

So what happened after Teleka’s car went into the ditch? These mental issues still don’t answer that question, and they certainly don’t mean that people should stop looking for her. If anything, the search needs to be intensified now, so that Teleka can receive the help she needs before something really bad happens, assuming she’s still alive somewhere.

Mental health is such an important issue, and it isn’t addressed nearly enough. Teleka isn’t alone in this illness. It could happen to any one of us, or to someone we love, at any time. Teleka is a medical student with a promising future, as long as she gets the help she needs.

Please spread the word about her disappearance, especially if you live in the Midwest. The more attention this case gets, the better the odds are at finding her.

Read More:

Teleka Patrick felt unsafe, ducked between cars at Kalamazoo hospital before vanishing, investigator says

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