Fact Check

Disappearance of Dr. Teleka Patrick

Is gospel singer Marvin Sapp linked to the disappearance of Dr. Teleka Patrick?

Published Mar 10, 2014


Claim:   Gospel singer Marvin Sapp is linked to the disappearance of Dr. Teleka Patrick.


Examples:   [Collected via e-mail, March 2014]

I heard that Marvin Sapp is currently the primary suspect in the case of the missing doctor, Teleka Patrick of Kalamazoo, Michigan.


Origins:   The mysterious case of Dr. Teleka Patrick, an attractive 30-year-old psychiatry resident who disappeared from the Kalamazoo, Michigan, area in December 2013 has attracted widespread attention across the U.S. and elsewhere. The outline of the case is that Dr. Patrick

attempted to check into a Kalamazoo hotel on the night of 5 December 2013 (even though she lived in the area), and security camera footage showed that she then took the hotel's shuttle bus back to the parking lot at the hospital where she worked (and where her car was parked). A few hours later, as documented by 911 calls, motorists reported spotting her car sitting in a ditch about 40 feet off the highway along I-94 near Porter, Indiana. The car's interior lights were on, the vehicle apparently had a flat tire, and Dr. Patrick's wallet (with her credit cards and ID) was inside the automobile. A bloodhound later tracked her scent from her car back to the edge of the highway, but there the trail went cold.

The FBI's summary of her disappearance states that:

Dr. Teleka Patrick, alias Teleka Calderon (age 30), is a medical resident at Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Dr. Patrick was last seen on Thursday, December 5, 2013, at approximately 8:00 p.m. (EST). After completing her shift at work, Dr. Patrick unsuccessfully tried to rent a hotel room in downtown Kalamazoo, and then she was dropped off by the hotel shuttle driver in the parking lot at Borgess Medical Center. Dr. Patrick left some of her belongings at work, including her cell phone.

On that same evening, Thursday, December 5, 2013, at approximately 10:00 p.m. (EST), Dr. Patrick's vehicle, a light-gold 1997 Lexus ES 300, was found abandoned off the roadway in a ditch with a possible flat tire on I-94, mile marker 23, in Porter, Indiana. Dr. Patrick's belongings were in the car, to include clothing items, a wallet that contained her driver's license, credit cards, and a small amount of cash. Dr. Patrick failed to report to her regular shift at work the next day. Dr. Patrick has not been heard from since this time.

As reported in press accounts Dr. Patrick left behind potential clues to her disappearance in some puzzling videos directed to an unknown person, such as the following:

Police say Teleka told Western Michigan University she wanted to come from California to their medical school in Kalamazoo to be closer to her fiancé, though family and friends have no indications of who that could be.

When YouTube videos of Teleka, speaking to an unknown love interest surfaced, the object of her affection remained a mystery.

Patrick also left behind tens of thousands of tweets, most of the latter directed at Marvin Sapp, a renowned gospel music singer who is currently senior pastor of Lighthouse Full Life Center Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and who had taken out a protection order against Dr. Patrick three months before her disappearance:

"Something caused her to be in distress on that particular night," said [Battle Creek private investigator Jim] Carlin.

Detectives quickly found many possibilities. As they back-tracked from the car, they found a twisted trail online — and a seemingly tormented life.

There were videos — 20,000 tweets — and questions for two men.

Patrick's tweets seem to be directed to one man in particular — gospel singer Marvin Sapp.

In a strange twist a personal protection order surfaced from Sapp, saying Teleka joined his church and that he has more than 400 pages of correspondence from her claiming he is her husband.

Investigators obtained [a] letter that Sapp's church sent to Patrick, revoking her membership because of "inappropriate emails and pictures" sent to Pastor Sapp. The letter also alleges Dr. Patrick showed up at Sapp's home.

According to Kalamazoo County Sheriff Richard Fuller III, however, "The pastor is nothing more than an innocent victim of an apparent stalking. The sheriff's office has been in contact with him for quite some time, and he has been thoroughly cooperative."

Kalamazoo County Sheriff's detectives have also interviewed Dr. Patrick's friend (and the last person she texted), James Arthur Davis, whom investigators believe Patrick was traveling to meet in St. Louis when her car went off the road. But officials have said they do not consider him a suspect in her disappearance either.

On 6 April 2014, authorities announced that the body of a woman had been discovered in Lake Charles in Indiana. On 9 April 2014, the body was identified as that of Teleka Patrick.

Last updated:   9 April 2014


    Catallo, Heather.   "Where Is Dr. Teleka Patrick?"

    WRTV [Indianapolis].   9 March 2014.

    LaFlamme, Ann Marie.   "Missing in West Michigan: The Search for Dr. Teleka Patrick."

    WXMI [Grand Rapids].   24 February 2014.

    McMaster, Jessica.   "Indiana State Police: Body Identified As Teleka Patrick."

    WXMI [Grand Rapids].   9 April 2014.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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