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Man Found Killed in Nevada Desert Turns Out to be a California Doctor

A Salinas California physician was found dead in the trunk of his car earlier this month, parked along a desolate highway near Las Vegas.

Doctor Thomas Kirk Burchard, age 71, was found by police officers about 11:00 a.m. on March 7 near the entrance of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area,

According to authorities, Burchard died as the result of blunt force trauma to his head.

A family out for a drive in the desert noticed a curious parked car with a broken window just off the pavement of highway 68. Police responded to the 911 call and examined the abandoned vehicle. When they opened the trunk, they found Doctor Burchard's body inside.

Community Health of the Monterey Peninsula spokeswoman Mary Barker confirmed the death of Burchard, who was a psychiatrist. "He’s a longstanding physician in the community who helped many, many patients, It is a sad situation and our hearts go out to the family."

Burchard worked more than four decades with Montage Health System. He counselled both adolescents and adults.

Because of the circumstances and finding by the coroner's office, his death is ruled a homicide.

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police are asking anyone with information about this case to contact them, at either 702-828-3521 or at

Tips leading directly to an arrest may be eligible for a cash reward.

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