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Model, 25, arrested in death of psychiatrist, 71, after body found in car

Friend describes victim & suspect's relationship as 'intimate'
Posted: 5:26 PM, Mar 29, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-29 23:06:13-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — One big question after Las Vegas police arrested 25-year-old Kelsey Turner for the murder of a 71-year-old doctor is how the two were connected.

As of Friday, Turner was sitting in a San Joaquin County Jail after taken into custody last week in connection with the case.

Thomas Burchard, 71, was found dead inside the trunk of an abandoned car along State Route 147 on March 7.

The criminal complaint filed against Turner said the 25-year-old killed Burchard with a blow to the head between March 3-6 - labeling the killing deliberate and premeditated.

Police have not given a motive for the crime publicly, but friends in Northern California are providing new details about their relationship.

"He told me he met Kelsey on a website. They talked, and they went and had dinner a few times," a man who wanted to remain anonymous told a KSBW reporter.

This friend told the Santa Barabara station the doctor was paying the rent on the home Turner shared with her mother and children for some time supporting the family.

"These women were just like an escape for him. To have somewhere to go," the friend told KSBW.

"How much was he giving Samantha and Kelsey?" the reporter asked.

"Anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000 a week - easily," the friend responded.

Turner was reportedly evicted from the home after Burchard stopped paying the rent and moved to Las Vegas.

That friend telling crews Burchard came to Las Vegas to check on her.

"He said it seemed like Kelsey was having trouble with her boyfriend in Vegas because he's hitting, abusing her and she has no money, nowhere to go and felt partially responsible," the friend said.

Court records list turner as a victim in a domestic violence case that was dropped less than a month before Burchard's body was discovered in the trunk of an abandoned car.

Turner is now expected to go through the extradition process with California records showing her next hearing on a calendar for April 8.