Missing Michigan doctor Teleka Patrick may have suffered from psychiatric disorders ranging from Erotomania to Schizophrenia.
Patrick, a 30-year-old first-year medical resident in psychiatry at the Western Michigan University School of Medicine, was reported missing on Dec. 6, 2013. She was last seen by a courtesy shuttle driver at the Radisson Plaza Hotel, who dropped her off at her car in the parking lot of the Borgess Medical Center where she worked. Patrick had attempted to rent a room at the hotel. But she was unsuccessful for reasons that are unclear.
Amateur detectives on WebSleuths.com unearthed a multitude of old Twitter usernames and at least 20,000 deleted Twitter posts made by Patrick that suggest she heard voices in her head -- a sign of schizophrenia and other mental disorders.
Websleuths.com is an online forum of 67,000 members who discuss missing-person cases. The treasure trove of deleted tweets uncovered by the amateur sleuths also indicate that Patrick may have suffered from Erotomania, a mental disorder characterized by a strong, psychotic attraction to a public figure whom the individual believes is telegraphing their romantic interests via messages sent through the television, music, Internet, or photographs.
It was the Websleuths.com amateur detectives who initially discovered the link between the missing doctor and gospel singer Marvin Sapp. The national media then reported the connection.
"We were ahead of everybody on this," said Tricia Griffith, co-owner of the website. "Although it's not me, it's our wonderful members. ... It's like having a gigantic worldwide research department at your fingertips."
Sapp filed a restraining order against Patrick, who spent a great deal of her time stalking the gospel star and his family.
"You can tell this is a wonderful, kind, loving woman who is ill," Griffith said. "You can't help but be drawn to this case. You really want to rescue her."
The connection to Sapp was made by Kathleen Streitenberger, a retired corporate "skiptracer", who used her skills to trace Patrick's electronic footprint.
"I knew she was stalking MS," Streitenberger said in an email to the Kalamazoo Gazette.
Other community members used powerful search engines to recover Patrick's 20,000 deleted Twitter posts. Keith Komos, an IT specialist at the University of Houston, compiled the 20,000 tweets into a massive 740-page searchable database on Websleuths.com.
"This is where crowd-sourcing comes into play," Komos said. "These amateur investigators have the advantage of time, interest and focus that reporters and law enforcement don't have."
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