Salinas psychiatrist found bludgeoned to death in trunk of car in Las Vegas


A Salinas physician was bludgeoned to death in Las Vegas, his body left in the trunk of a car, the Las Vegas Review-Journal and other media sources reported Friday.

The body of Dr. Thomas Burchard, 71, was found by was found by officers about 10:50 a.m. March 7 near the entrance to the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, according to several outlets, including CBS KLAS Las Vegas and FOX 5 Las Vegas.

Burchard died from blunt force to the head and his death was ruled a homicide.

A man driving through the remote area with his kids noticed a parked vehicle that had a rock thrown through one of its windows. Officers responded and found Burchard’s body inside the car, the Las Vegas Review-Journal said.

The Las Vegas Coroner’s Office, Las Vegas Police Department and Clark County Sheriff’s Office were not available for comment Saturday. 

Community Health of the Monterey Peninsula spokeswoman Mary Barker confirmed the death of Burchard.

“He’s a longstanding physician in the community who was very helpful to many of his patients,” said Barker. “It was a sad situation and our hearts go out to his family.”

According to Barker, Burchard worked as many as 40 years with the behavioral health program with Montage Health. He had a small number of adolescent patients and a larger number of adult patients. 

Kate Cimini covers agriculture, environment, and human interest stories for The Californian. Have a tip? Call her at (831) 776-5137 or email Subscribe for full access to all of The Californian’s local news coverage.

Published 7:41 PM EDT Mar 16, 2019