On a dirt road outside of Las Vegas in March, police discovered the body of Dr. Thomas Burchard inside of the trunk of a luxury vehicle. The car he was found in was allegedly being used by 25-year-old Playboy model Kelsey Turner.
Burchard’s longtime girlfriend, Judy Earp, had already reported him missing by the time his body was discovered and told The Californian that Burchard had given Turner upwards of $300,000 over a two-year span.
Police now believe Turner, who is reportedly pregnant, beat the 71-year-old psychiatrist to death.
Police have since located and arrested Turner in Stockton, California, where she is awaiting extradition back to Las Vegas.
She is expected to be charged with murder.
Burchard Leaves for Las Vegas
Burchard, who had known Turner for two years, had traveled from his home in Stockton, California, to visit her on March 1.
Earp told The Californian she last heard from Burchard on March 2 and asked police to perform a welfare check at Turner’s Las Vegas home, which police did on March 3 and 4. But officers didn’t find him, according to court documents.
On March 5, police found the house had been abandoned. The door had been left unlocked and the back windows were open.
Earp told the paper she then received a text from Burchard’s phone that didn’t sound anything like him, so she reported him missing.
"It was uneducated vocabulary," Earp told the paper. "He was a highly educated man and this was thug type of... you know. I think they were fishing for my bank account information. Which was kind of strange, because he knew that and it was just weird."
Earp told police at the time that she believed Turner had murdered Burchard.
Between March 1 and 5, Turner’s phone records indicated she had been home. But when officers found the house abandoned on March 5, her phone showed she wasn’t home for most of the day.
On March 6, her cell signal showed she’d left the area, and on March 7, the day Burchard’s body was found, her phone was turned off for good.
Burchard’s phone records showed no activity after March 3, according to court documents.
Burchard Found Dead in Turner's Car
Authorities have determined Burchard was murdered between March 3 and 6, but his body wasn’t discovered until March 7.
An individual called authorities when they spotted a 2017 Mercedes-Benz C300 about 2 miles off State Route 147. When officers checked the vehicle’s trunk, they found Burchard’s body “partially clothed” and covered by bedding, according to KSNV-TV.
Blood was found on the headrest of the driver’s seat and the car’s backseat.
It’s not clear where Burchard was murdered before his body was stashed in the trunk, according to court documents. Police also found blue latex gloves in the car and determined there had been a small fire in the passenger seat of the car.
Authorities also found fingerprints and DNA evidence, as well as cleaning supplies, in the car, according to court records.
The car had been subleased to Turner from its original owner since November, according to authorities. Turner hadn't reported the car stolen since Burchard went missing.
On March 8, authorities returned to Turner’s Las Vegas home with a search warrant and found cleaning supplies and a broken bedroom door with blood on it, as well as blood in the home’s garage.
Authorities ruled Burchard’s death a homicide. It was determined he died from blunt-force trauma to the head.
"Based on the fact that Burchard came to Las Vegas with the intent to visit Turner, Burchard was found murdered in Turner's vehicle, and there was evidence of a clean-up at Turner's residence, there is probable cause to believe Turner was involved in Burchard's death," a warrant read for Turner's arrest.
An "Overly Compassionate" Man
It’s not clear how Turner and Burchard knew each other, but Earp said Burchard was known for helping those in need.
"He was always helping people," Earp told The Californian. "Anybody with a sad story, you know. Some people took advantage of that."
Turner's arrest warrant indicated that Burchard had covered Turner’s rent in a Salinas, California, home the entire time Turner had lived there with her mother and two children before moving to Las Vegas.
However, Burchard told the landlord of the home early last fall that he was finished paying the rent and Turner and her family were evicted after three months, according to The Californian.
Earp also told The Californian that Burchard had given Turner at least $300,000 over the two years they knew each other. Police have not commented on the relationship between the pair.
Earp told KSWB that Turner wasn’t the first person that her boyfriend had helped out with expenses over the last 17 years and that he was “overly compassionate.”
Burchard worked at Montage Health in Monterey for nearly 40 years, according to reports.
Turner had previously appeared in Playboy Italia and Maxim.
Turner Is Arrested
On March 21, Turner was arrested in Stockton, California, without incident. Her son was with her at the time and was put in the state's care.
On April 5, warrants were issued for Jon Kennison, who is believed to be Turner’s boyfriend, and Diana Pena for their alleged roles in the murder.
On April 8, Turner had her extradition hearing and she is expected to be moved to Las Vegas within the next few days.
A GoFundMe that was started by Turner’s father to help her with her legal fees has since been taken down, according to The Washington Post.
Brian J. Smith, Turner’s attorney, has not released a statement about his client.
Police are asking anyone with information about Burchard’s death to contact Metro’s homicide section at 702-828-3521.