Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Teleka Patrick (MISSING)

There is absolutely no levity in the media. Some stories are always front page news. But the African-American narrative is largely ignored as if our lives have no value. Word of mouth is the prime source for these tales forgotten by the rest of the  world. So much so that it is common place, inevitable, and expected to hear more diverse news stories from friends and family. The ironic and saddening thing is, these stories are not African-American stories. They are stories that happen to be about African-Americans.

1736AEvery second that ticks is painful for Irene Patrick.

Every moment that passes is one more moment wwithout her daughter.

It's been nearly a month since Teleka Patrick, a Michigan doctor in her first year of residency, mysteriously disappeared from her Kalamazoo hospital and her car was found ditched 100 miles away.

"Christmas wasn't Christmas," her mother said from her Kissimmee home. "The other kids were here but it's just not the same. It can't be the same."

Teleka Patrick booked her ticket home to join her siblings and parents Dec. 23. It would've been the first time the entire family had been together for the holidays in five years.

Patrick was last seen Dec. 5 when surveillance footage caught images of the 30-year-old woman trying unsuccessfully to get a room at a Michigan hotel after completing a shift at the Borgess Medical Center, investigators told the Detroit Free Press.

A shuttle driver took her back to the hospital, where Patrick got inside her car. Indiana State Police found it later that night in a ditch near Portage, Ind., with her wallet and ID inside, the newspaper reported.

Her family hired a private investigator and handed out fliers in the area where Teleka Patrick vanished but they are no closer to finding her, family members said.

"Every day I am glued to the phone to hear something," Irene Patrick said. "I am desperate."

Teleka Patrick is the oldest of three and the only child to follow through on a family desire they all become doctors. Her mother said she was raised in New York.

She moved to Michigan after earning a medical degree from Loma Linda University in California this spring. Teleka Patrick flirted with research and fell in love with the idea of becoming a psychiatrist.

Though they were far apart for much of Patrick's years of study, the faithful daughter made it a point to call her mother every Sunday when both their schedules allowed it.

School was tough but "the stress was doable," Teleka Patrick told her mother while thanking her for teaching her how to focus and discipline herself in work.

In one of their last conversations, Teleka Patrick recounted her Thanksgiving spent with a cousin in Chicago but it was cut short because Irene Patrick, a nurse, had night duty at the hospital.

"We always say we love you," she said. It was the last time Patrick heard her daughter's voice.

Teleka Patrick didn't tell her parents where she was going or if she was seeing someone new — an avenue investigators are exploring after YouTube videos of her singing and preparing breakfast for someone surfaced online. But no solid leads have emerged, Irene Patrick said.

"We are one of faith and we believe she will back and alive," she said.


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