By Stephen Sorace
Published March 29, 2019
A 25-year-old Las Vegas woman has been arrested in California, charged in the murder of a 71-year-old child psychiatrist who was found bludgeoned to death in the trunk of a car in Nevada earlier this month, authorities said Thursday.
Kelsey Turner was taken into custody March 21 in Stockton in connection with the death of Dr. Thomas Burchard, of Salinas, Calif., Las Vegas Metropolitan Police said.
Turner was arrested by Las Vegas detectives and the Stockton FBI task force, FOX5 Las Vegas reported. Further details on her arrest or how police identified Turner as a suspect in Burchard’s death weren’t immediately available.
Her name and photo matched those that appeared on a Facebook profile that described the woman as a model who posed for racy photos, including some posted on Playboy's Italian-language website, the Californian of Salinas reported.
Social media profiles for a Kelsey Turner identify her as a model living in Las Vegas, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. But property records obtained by the paper indicate Turner also had addresses in Arizona and California, including Salinas, about 130 miles from Stockton.
Burchard’s body was discovered March 7 near the entrance to the Lake Mead National Recreational Area after a passerby noticed a rock had been thrown through one of the vehicle's windows, police said. It was not immediately clear who owned the car.
Authorities determined Burchard died from blunt force injury to the head. His death was ruled a homicide.
Burchard, who chose not to retire at 65 because he couldn’t bear to leave his patients, had worked nearly four decades in the behavioral health program with Montage Health, the Review-Journal reported.
"Dr. Burchard was a psychiatrist in our behavioral health program for almost 40 years and was very helpful to many patients," Montage Health spokeswoman Mary Barker said. "It’s a very sad situation and our hearts go out to his family, friends, patients, and colleagues. We are notifying his patients and providing grief counseling for staff."
Turner was being held in the San Joaquin County Jail without bail as she awaits extradition to face a murder charge in Las Vegas.