Search continues for missing Ind. doctor

March 28, 2011 11:07:54 AM PDT
Northwest Indiana police are looking into the possibility that foul play could be involved in the disappearance of an eye doctor who vanished one week ago Monday.

Investigators are calling the disappearance of Dr. Promila Mehta-Paul out of character because they say it is unusual that she would leave without telling her staff and to not have any phone contact with family.

Police said Tuesday, however, they had located a family member for whom they'd been searching.

There has been no activity on Dr. Mehta-Paul's cell phone or on her credit cards for the last week. Police in Highland-- where she worked-- and in Munster where she lives say that there are no indications of foul play. But authorities also tell ABC7 Chicago they are not ruling anything out.

Mehta-Paul's receptionist and intern arrived Monday shortly after 9:30 a.m. to open the Highland office, like they do most days.

"Until they decide what they're going to do, if they're going to close or remain open, [I'm here]," said intern Linda Grayson.

The last time anyone in the office saw the doctor was at approximately 5 p.m. Monday, March 21.

"Nothing out of the ordinary, like I don't really know her, but from what I gathered from her, she was always ok. She was pleasant," said Grayson.

Grayson also said there was no indication that anything was wrong.

Dr. Paul was reported missing the day after she failed to show up for rounds at a local hospital.

"My detectives and officers did enter the business, checked the interior and found no evidence of foul play or personal belongings of Dr. Paul's that would indicate any foul play had taken place," said Cmdr. George Georgeff of the Highland Indiana Police Department.

Munster investigators say Dr. Paul lived alone until one of her sons moved from California recently. He briefly disappeared this week, but police say all three of the doctor's other children are cooperating.

"We were looking for the one son. We were unable to locate him, but as of this morning, we did find him. He is in California, and our investigators did talk to him. I can't tell you the details of the conversation, but they did locate him," said Munster Police Department Sgt. Steven Kovacik.

Missing from the woman's house are her 2001 gold Toyota Rav4 and a California license plate from her son's car. Authorities are asking the public to look out for an Indiana license plate DW2031 or California plates 6LHZS319.

The last time that Dr. Mehta-Paul was seen, it was driving away from a First Financial Bank branch in highland. She was caught on surveillance tape.

ABC7 is told the doctor would go to the bank to make a deposit every day after work.

Police are asking anyone with information on her whereabouts to call detectives at the Munster or Highland police departments.