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Police say missing Munster doctor could have faced foul play

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM

Munster and Highland police departments are keeping all options on the table, including the possibility of foul play, in the disappearance of Dr. Promila Mehta-Paul, a Munster resident, missing since March 21.

Mehta-Paul, an eye doctor with an office in Highland, didn’t show up to scheduled rounds at a local hospital on Tuesday, and family members, who have contacted Munster police as far away as India, call her disappearance uncharacteristic.

“We don’t want to rule out anything at this point in time,” Munster Police Chief Stephen Scheckel said.

The 70-year-old doctor was last seen about 5 p.m. March 21 making a night deposit at First Financial Bank, 2611 Highway Ave., Highland, according to Munster Police Detective Michael Janiga. He confirmed Mehta-Paul is seen on bank video and was driving her gold 2001 Toyota Rav4, which is now missing.

Mehta-Paul lived alone; however, a son had recently been staying with her at the Munster house. The son’s 1997 Acura is at the residence as is missing a California license plate, Scheckel said.

Scheckel said detectives are working to get in touch with the son. Scheckel also said Mehta-Paul’s SUV could either have a California or Indiana license plate.

Police checked the Munster house, and it appeared Mehta-Paul hadn’t been there in several days.

“This is out of character for her and family members are concerned,” said Scheckel at a Sunday press conference at Munster Town Hall.

Since she went missing, police have found no activity on Mehta-Paul’s cell phone or credit cards. Family members say Mehta-Paul was usually readily available by her cell phone.

Anyone with information about Mehta-Paul is asked to call Munster police at 836-6600 or Highland police at 838-3181.

Post-Tribune reporter Bob Kostanczuk contributed to this article.

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