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Indiana Doctor Vanishes; Family Worried

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Promila Mehta-Paul

Dr. Promila Mehta-Paul of Munster, Ind., is missing. (Credit: Munster Police)

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UPDATED 03/28/11 5:30 p.m.

MUNSTER, Ind. (CBS) – The sudden disappearance last week of a 70 year-old-doctor from Indiana has turned into an International mystery.

As CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole reports, Dr. Promila Mehta-Paul is missing from her home in Munster, Ind. she was last seen at her eye clinic on a busy streetcorner in Highland.

But there is no sign of Mehta-Paul anywhere – neither her medical practice, nor at her home where she lived with a visiting son from California. She seems simply to have vanished.

“This is out of character for her, and the family members are obviously concerned,” said Munster Police Chief Stephen Scheckel.

Mehta-Paul is of Indian decent with dark hair and dark eyes, standing 5 feet 1 inch tall and weighing about 130 pounds.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Jennifer O’Neill reports

She was last seen leaving her office Monday night. Staffers and family members as far away as India called police when she failed to show up for work the next day. She had several appointments schedules.

“We received notifications almost at once from concerned staff members and family members, both within the country and outside the country,” Scheckel said.

Detectives have been able to determine that in the early evening hours of the day she was last seen, Mehta-Paul did make a deposit at a First Financial bank branch near her office.

Authorities are reviewing videotape from the bank to aid in their investigation. Of major concern is that Mehta-Paul made no mention of plans for a trip of vacation to anyone.

“There’s no sign of foul play, no articles of clothing that would lead us to believe there was foul play,” Scheckel said.

Reports have differed as to whether Mehta-Paul’s vehicle is considered missing. She drove a gold Toyota Rav4 with the Indiana plate DW2031, or possibly the California plate 6LHZ319 taken from her son’s car.

Police say any information could help solve the mystery.

“In these cases, it’s just a matter of someone being in the right place at the right time that helps us unite Der. Paul with her family,” Scheckel said.

Anyone with information about Mehta-Paul is asked to call Munster police at (219) 836-6600.

At her Highland, Ind. eye care clinic Monday, there was little for Dr. Promila Mehta-Paul’s staff to do but hope for the best.

“I am hoping that nothing happened. I’m hoping that maybe she just fell asleep somewhere,” Linda Grayson said.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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