Psychiatrist found beaten to death in trunk of car parked in remote desert: Police

Authorities are investigating the apparent murder of a California psychiatrist was found beaten to death in the trunk of his car parked in Nevada earlier this month.

The Clark County coroner’s office announced last week that the death of Thomas Burchard, 71, was a homicide. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that Burchard was found March 7  inside his car parked near the entrance of Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

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Police reportedly said a man who was driving through the remote desert area with his children noticed an abandoned vehicle with a rock thrown through one of the windows. The man called police, who inspected the car and found Burchard’s body, according to the outlet.

The coroner said Burchard died the same day of blunt force trauma to the head.

According to KLAS, Burchard lived in Salinas, California, and worked for Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula (CHOMP), specializing in child psychiatry. The Californian reported that he spent forty years with the behavioral health program with Montage Health, serving adult and adolescent patients.

“He was a longstanding physician in the community and in our behavioral health program who was very helpful to many of his patients. It’s a very sad situation, and our hearts go out to his family,” Mary Backer, Chief Communications Officer for Montage Health, which operates CHOMP said in a statement.

Authorities haven’t identified a motive or suspects in the psychiatrist unsolved slaying.

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[Featured image: Thomas Burchard/KLAS]