Playboy model charged in murder of 71-yr-old psychiatrist found bludgeoned to death in car trunk

It is yet unclear how 23-year-old Kelsey Turner was involved in the death of Dr Thomas Burchard, but it was revealed that they had known each other for years

                            Playboy model charged in murder of 71-yr-old psychiatrist found bludgeoned to death in car trunk
(Source : Getty Images)

A Playboy model has been arrested and charged in connection to the murder of a 71-year-old psychiatrist, who was found bludgeoned to death in the trunk of a car earlier this month.

Twenty-three-year-old Kelsey Turner has been taken into custody by police in Stockton, California, as part of their investigation into the death of Dr. Thomas Burchard.

According to a press release by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, dispatch received a call from a person concerning an abandoned vehicle on State Route 147 at approximately 10:51 am on March 7.

Burchard's body was found in the trunk of a car on March 7 (Source: Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula)


Officers who were dispatched to the area to investigate opened the trunk to conduct an inventory check and located the body of a deceased male inside.

He was identified as Burchard, and it was later ruled that he was bludgeoned to death. Because of the suspicious circumstances in which the body was found, the investigation was subsequently taken over by homicide.

The investigation conducted by detectives eventually determined that Turner, who has previously posed for Playboy's Italian-language website, was involved in the incident.

Then, on Thursday, March 21, LVMPVD officers coordinated with members of the FBI Stockton Safe Street Task Force to apprehend the 23-year-old in Stockton.

Property records indicate addresses for Turner in Arizona, Las Vegas and California, including Salinas, and her Facebook and Instagram accounts seem to suggest that she's a model who's currently living in Las Vegas.

While it is still unclear how Turner was involved in Burchard's death, they did know one another. KSBW cited a source who said the pair had met one another online and that Burchard was giving Turner and her mother, Samantha, "anywhere from two-four thousand dollars a week, easily."

Her mother confirmed that her daughter and Burchard had known each other for years and that the psychiatrist paid the rent on a home in Salinas where she and her daughter lived along with her daughter's children.

Turner is awaiting extradition to Clark County on charges of Open Murder (Source: LVMPD)

However, Burchard had stopped paying the rent for the Salinas home in recent times, prompting Turner to move to Las Vegas. It was something that was supposedly weighing heavily on him, with an anonymous source telling KSBW that the 71-year-old had confided in him that "Kelsey is having trouble with her boyfriend out there in Vegas because he's hitting her. He's abusing her and she has no money, nowhere to go."

The source said Burchard felt personally responsible for her plight.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that Burchard lived off Highway 68 and worked as many as 40 years with the Montage Health behavioral health program with the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula. 

Judy Earp, his longtime girlfriend, said the 71-year-old couldn't bear to leave his patients — which included both adults and adolescents — and that, instead of retiring at 65, he continued to work by cutting his workweek to four days.

"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 is currently being held at the San Joaquin County Jail and is awaiting extradition to Clark County on charges of 1st-degree murder with a deadly weapon enhancement. She is scheduled to appear in court on April 8.