No clues turn up in search for missing doctor

Dr. Promila Mehta-Paul, 70 was last seen on Monday, March 21, 2011 at her medical office on Kennedy Avenue in Highland, Ind. She is approximately 5'1", weighs approximately 130 pounds and has brown eyes and hair.Police describe her as a white female of Indian descent. Anyone with information on Metha-Paul's whereabouts or anyone who may have seen her since Monday is urged to contact the Munster Police Department at 219-836-6600 or the Highland Police Department at 219-838-3181.

March 30, 2011 4:56:13 PM PDT
Police on horseback and on foot searched an area near the Munster, Indiana home of Dr. Promila Mehta-Paul Wednesday.

The 70-year-old eye doctor was last seen on March 21 around 5 p.m. making a routine deposit at a Highland bank. Police have not ruled out foul play.

Police are still looking for a Toyota Rave 4 that may have Indiana license plate DW2031 or possibly a California plate of 6LHZ319.

Even though Wednesday's search did not turn up new clues, Munster police say the case is progressing.

While golfers practiced their swings at the driving range in Munster's Centennial Park, a team of searchers, including a posse on horseback, covered an area in the park of about three square miles looking for any traces of Dr. Mehta-Paul.

"We're just kind of doing a perimeter search looking if we see anything that may have been disturbed recently," said Susan Baugher, searcher.

Baugher and her horse, Mystic, are part of the District 1 wide area search team which spent about three hours looking for Mehta-Paul. They searched the area around a pond near her home where the 70-year-old had been living with her son. Munster police say they have had a few run-ins with him. Earlier this month he was arrested for driving under the influence.

Munster police say the reason for the search was due diligence and that there is no reason to believe that Mehta-Paul would be in that area.

"We really didn't uncover anything that we would consider significant to this case," said Chief Stephen Scheckel.

Those who know Mehta-Paul say it's unusual for her to leave without notice. In 1995, she divorced her ex-husband, Munster pediatrician Dr. S. Damon Paul. Their relationship was stormy during and after their marriage as they continued to fight over money.

On Wednesday Dr. Paul, who says he is cooperating with police, released this statement: "I am concerned by the disappearance of Dr. Mehta-Paul and I am hopeful no harm has come to her. Although we were involved in a contentious divorce 20 years ago, I moved on with my life and have been happily married for the past seven years."