FBI, evidence technicians return to home of missing Munster doctor

2011-05-06T21:15:00Z 2011-05-07T17:37:22Z FBI, evidence technicians return to home of missing Munster doctorBy Lu Ann Franklin Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
May 06, 2011 9:15 pm  • 

MUNSTER | FBI agents and evidence technicians converged late Friday morning at the home of missing physician Dr. Promila Mehta-Paul.

Members of the FBI's Evidence Response Team went into the backyard at the house and carried equipment through the home's front door.

Special Agent Michael Peasley, of the Merrillville FBI office, who was in charge of the investigation at the home, declined comment. He cited the ongoing investigation into the March 21 disappearance of the 70-year-old ophthalmologist.

During the hours-long search of the property, FBI technicians traveled around inside the house and garage.

Technicians were visible from the home's windows and could be seen searching through boxes in the garage.

About 2:35 p.m., a driver with Stan's Towing & Recovery, of Schererville, removed a two-door medium blue Acura sedan from the garage. The car did not have plates.

The tow truck driver declined to say where he was taking the car.

The FBI evidence truck then was driven into the garage.

Munster and Highland police also were on hand at the home Friday.

It appeared that one of the physician's sons was at the scene, but Munster police kept the media at a distance.

"We're throwing everything we have at it," Munster Police Chief Steve Scheckel said.

Munster police twice have searched Mehta-Paul's Munster home in the 9000 block of Twin Creek Boulevard prior to Friday. Authorities also have searched a home across the street, which the doctor was watching for the vacationing owners.

Family members, including her ex-husband, pediatrician Dr. Shashi Daman Paul, and the couple's three sons have been interviewed and are cooperating with the investigation, Scheckel said.

One of the sons was interviewed in California by two Munster police officers and one Highland officer.

Investigators continue to search for the physician's gold-colored 2001 Toyota Rav4, which has an Indiana license plate of DW2031.

The crossover SUV was last seen in surveillance video of Mehta-Paul making a bank deposit about 5 p.m. March 21.

Mehta-Paul is a woman of Eastern Indian heritage. She is about 5 feet 1 inch tall, weighs about 130 pounds, and has brown eyes and brown hair.

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