She was a brilliant doctor, at the top of her class at UCLA Medical School and a certified genius with an IQ of 170.
It took police five hours to remove her badly decomposed body after she'd been missing for a week.
It's hard to believe anyone, let alone a genius doctor, could think they could fit in such a small space.
Her grieving sister Marcia is at a loss to explain how the doctor could have died so senselessly.
What is known is that Dr. Kotarac showed up at the Bakersfield, California home of her ex-boyfriend Bill Moodie around midnight on August 25th, only to find the front door locked. Moodie says he ran out the back door to avoid a confrontation.
The couple reportedly had a turbulent relationship and they were going through a rough patch.
"Obviously she wanted to talk to her boyfriend desperately, and I think she wanted to talk to him bad enough that she went down the chimney to do it," Marcia says.
Police say the 50-year-old doctor was so desperate to get into the house that she used a ladder to climb up on the roof, removed the chimney cap, and leapt down feet first. Somewhere down the chute she got stuck.
The coroner has ruled out foul play and calls her death by suffocation an "accident."
INSIDE EDITION's Jim Moret spoke to Bill Moodie by phone. Moodie wouldn't talk about why Dr. Kotarac behaved so irrationally.
"She made an incredibly bad decision, for whatever reason she made it. I don't really understand it," Moodie said.
The world can only wonder why such a brilliant doctor would do such a foolish thing as try to slide down a chimney.
The doctor's body was discovered by Moodie's housekeeper, who noticed a smell coming from the chimney.