A second woman has reportedly been arrested in connection to the murder of a 71-year-old California psychiatrist who was found bludgeoned to death in the trunk of a car parked in the desert outside Las Vegas last month.
Diana Nicole Pena, 30, was taken into custody on Saturday and charged with conspiracy to commit murder and murder with the use of a deadly weapon. She stands accused of working with 25-year-old Kelsey Turner and Turner’s boyfriend Jon Logan Kennison to murder Dr. Thomas Burchard, according to The Californian. The three lived together at an apartment in Las Vegas, NV.
After his death, it was revealed that Burchard had paid the rent for Turner’s apartment in Las Vegas through June 2019. Turner, a mother who reportedly posed for Playboy Italia and Maxim, was arrested in Stockton, Calif. by FBI agents and extradited to Las Vegas in connection to the murder on March 21. Her extradition was reportedly delayed because she is currently pregnant.
Burchard’s girlfriend of 17 years, Judy Earp, said that Burchard had given Turner at least $300,000 over the years that she knew of, and that she considers Turner “as evil as Charles Manson.” He reportedly gave a number of other women money over the course of their relationship. Earp added that she believed Burchard was in the early stages of Alzheimer’s at the time of his death.
Earp was the one who reported the “overly compassionate” Burchard missing. Police recovered his body on March 7 in the trunk of a blue two-door 2017 Mercedez Benz. He was partially clothed and had been bludgeoned to death by an object which reportedly left distinctive marks.
Investigators found that the car was registered to a man living in China who had posted an ad offering the car up on Craigslist, to which Turner allegedly responded. She never reported the car as missing.
The car also led police to Pena, after they discovered her bartending card for her job at the Caesar’s Palace hotel inside. Her fingerprints, along with Turner’s boyfriend Kennison, were found inside the Mercedes.
Pena reportedly did not show up for work after March 6, the day before Burchard’s body was found. It is believed that Pena, Kennison and Turner fled to Rio, Calif. before the two women were arrested. Kennison reportedly agreed to speak with detectives, but was not heard from again and remains at large.
Pena is set to have a case status check on Tuesday, and both she and Turner are scheduled for a preliminary hearing in the case on June 3.
Burchard reportedly lived in Monterey, Calif. and spent decades working to help patients at the Montage Health Foundation. A spokesperson for the non-profit organization said the situation was “very sad” and that their “hearts go out to his family, friends, patients, and colleagues.”
“Dr. Burchard was a psychiatrist in our behavioral health program for almost 40 years and was very helpful to many patients,” spokeswoman Mary Barker said. “We are notifying his patients and providing grief counseling for staff.”