Boston surgeon accused of murdering wife dumped body in pond after putting rocks in her pants to weigh it down
Ingolf Tuerk, who was once the head of urology at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Brighton, was arrested after Kathleen McLean’s body was found on Saturday, May 16
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS: A surgeon has confessed to investigators that he strangled his wife to death and then dumped her body in a pond near their Dover home, a prosecutor said on Monday, May 18. Dr. Ingolf Tuerk, who was once the head of urology at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Brighton, was arrested after Kathleen McLean’s body was found on Saturday, May 16, in an outdoor area near the couple's Valley Road home in Dover by Massachusetts State Police.
Tuerk was then charged with his 45-year-old wife’s death. However, on Monday, in Dedham District Court he pleaded not guilty to the killing of McLean. He was denied bail.
According to a Norfolk District Attorney’s Office prosecutor, the 58-year-old doctor and his wife were at their home on the night of May 14 when an argument began between them while drinking. As the argument escalated, McLean reportedly struck Tuerk with some type of object, possibly a glass. After this, the surgeon started to choke the mother-of-three until she passed out. When he realized that McLean was dead, he reportedly picked up her body and put it into a vehicle. Tuerk drove with his wife’s dead body to a nearby home he knew was vacant.
Prosecutors stated that after reaching the vacant property, the doctor placed rocks inside McLean's pants to weigh her body down before dumping her in a pond on the property. Police found his wife's body submerged, naked from the waist up, with several rocks in her pants.
Reports have claimed that McLean’s ex-husband, whose identity has not been revealed, called Dedham police on Friday, May 15, saying his ex-wife was missing. He believed she was at a hotel named Residence Inn in Dedham with her current husband, Tuerk.
In his complaint, the ex-husband claimed that no one had seen his ex-wife since the previous night. Court records also showed that family members and friends of McLean also tried to message and contact her, but she wasn’t responding.
After the call, Dedham police went to the hotel room, which had been booked by Tuerk. However, when they knocked on the door of the room, no one answered. Management then gave keys to the officials to unlock the door. Police found an unresponsive Tuerk inside the room with some lacerations on his left wrist. There was also a cut on his forehead, and police believed he had been drinking. As per the prosecutor, investigators found a knife in the hotel room and there were cuts on Tuerk’s arms and legs. He was given Narcan by police after they saw a syringe in the room, suggesting he might have injected himself with some type of drug.
Tuerk was then taken to Norwood Hospital while investigators continued their search for McLean. However, when the surgeon awoke on Saturday, he gave details of the alleged incident to the investigators, the prosecutor said. About his cuts, he reportedly said bushes near the pond caused the injuries to him. Tuerk has now been held without bail on the murder charge. His bail was also revoked on prior assault charges. Besides, he cannot have any contact with McLean’s family. His court was continued to June.
The new details in the case come after earlier records revealed that in the past, Tuerk had reportedly strangled McLean and cut her with scissors. According to the official documents, two months before her killing, McLean had told police about her husband’s repeated abusive behavior during the course of their married life.
The couple had been together for two years but got married recently in December 2019. However, just two months after their wedding, in February, the mother-of-three pressed charges against Tuerk, alleging he had choked her and cut her with scissors.
McLean also reportedly confided in her family members and two police officer friends about the ill-treatment at the hands of her doctor husband “in case something happened to her”. She claimed that since Tuerk lost his job, most of the time he was in the house. The reason for his termination was he allegedly falsely billed Medicaid and agreed to pay $150,000 to resolve the allegations under the terms of a settlement made in November 2019. According to the office of Attorney General Maura Healey, Tuerk “caused improper billings to MassHealth of over $31,000.”