PORTER, Ind. (WOOD) — The fisherman who discovered a woman’s body in a small northern Indiana lake says he hopes it helps give Teleka Patrick’s family some peace.
“The biggest reward is the family can have some closure,” said Kevin Crepps, 43, who lives just a few miles from Lake Charles in Porter, Ind. “That’s the only thing I can think about, you know? Having them have closure for their daughter.”
Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris said he expects to confirm the identity of the body Tuesday through dental records and fingerprints. The body, discovered by Crepps in Lake Charles 4 months after Patrick disappeared, was badly decomposed.
“We’re not going to speculate at any point in time on who this may be or might not be,” Harris said. “Right now, she’s still being treated as a Jane Doe.”
Police said the body was that of an African-American woman wearing dark clothes.
Patrick, 30, a first-year resident in the psychiatric residency program at Western Michigan University, was last seen the evening of Dec. 5, 2013 in the parking lot of Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo.
Her car was found later that night off I-94 near Porter, less than a mile from Lake Charles. The lake is perhaps 50 yards from the busy highway, separated by a barbed wire fence.
Crepps said a friend had told him that police searched the same lake during the winter.
“He said they were drilling holes in that pond and I knew about it, but I wasn’t expecting to find what I found,” Crepps said.
Crepps said he fishes almost every day, but had not fished in Lake Charles since last year. He was out at 7 a.m. Sunday, hoping to catch some bluegill.
“I started casting and then I looked over and I seen something that wasn’t right,” he said. “I just went over there, walked around, noticed it was what I thought it was.”
The body was face down in shallow water. He saw no obvious sign of injury.
“She’s probably 15 to 20 feet out, out in the water,” he said. “I just feel bad that I had to find her this way.”
He said he waded into the lake to make sure of what he had found. Then he called the local police department.
After making the discovery, he went online and watched footage of Patrick just before she went missing. He noticed the black jacket she was wearing was just like the one worn by the woman he found in the water, he said.
“That’s what got me,” he said. “That’s her.”
Harris, the Porter County coroner, said it could take weeks to determine a cause of death.
The Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office said in a Monday release it plans to hold a press conference regarding Patrick’s case Wednesday morning.