The body of a missing Massachusetts woman was found last week, and authorities allege that they know who killed her.
Fifty-eight-year-old surgeon Dr. Ingolf Tuerk has been arrested and charged for the death of his wife Kathleen McLean, Boston-area ABC affiliate WCVB reported Sunday.
The Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office said McLean had last been seen alive on Thursday at the home she shared with Tuerk in Dover.
The 45-year-old’s body was discovered by police at approximately 11 p.m. on Saturday evening in a pond located just half a mile from the couple’s house, according to WCVB.
“It’s a sad situation”
On Sunday, local reporter Josh Brogadir tweeted that the victim’s home was “quiet,” adding that one of her friends came by to leave flowers and a stuffed animal. “She said ‘it’s a sad situation’ and wouldn’t say much more,” Brogadir added.
NBC Boston later reported that Tuerk had confessed to killing his wife via strangulation and was being held without bail after entering a not guilty plea.
“Dr. Tuerk has long had a reputation as an extraordinary physician and surgeon,” his defense attorney, Howard Cooper, said, according to NBC Boston.
He went on: “The number of people he has helped and whose lives he has saved over the years include people from every background, every nationality, every religion and race.”
According to the U.K.’s Telegraph, Tuerk is originally from the former East Germany, and he was part of the communist country’s decathlon team at the 1980 Olympics in Moscow.
In November of last year, Tuerk had to pay a $150,000 settlement over claims that he had fraudulently billed the state’s Medicaid program, according to WCVB.
“False billing is a serious issue that hurts people in need of health care,” Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said in a statement. “It is important that all doctors follow the law, and our office will aggressively pursue those who overbill our health care system.”
The statement went on to contend that “Dr. Tuerk instructed his residents and fellows to document the use of ultrasound probes during partial nephrectomies (kidney removal) in patient medical records, even when they had not been used during surgeries.”