Prominent Mass. Doctor Charged with Killing His Missing Wife After Her Body Is Found in a Pond
Ingolf Tuerk, 58, had allegedly abused Kathleen McLean in the past, court records reportedly indicate
A well-known Massachusetts surgeon has been arrested and charged with murdering his wife of five months, whose body was found in a pond near their home, say authorities.
Early Sunday, Dover police arrested Ingolf Tuerk, 58, and charged him with the murder of Kathleen McLean, 45, the Norfolk District Attorney’s Office says in a release.
A mother of three, McLean was last seen Thursday night in the sprawling Valley Road home she shared with her husband, the release says.
On Saturday night, police "developed information about where her body may have been located" and found her remains after 11 p.m., the release says.
Tuerk had allegedly abused McLean in the past, court papers show, the Boston Globe reports.
McLean, a reiki master who owned Birch Tree Energy and Healing in Sudbury, wed Tuerk in December after a two-year relationship, the Globe reports.
Tuerk, who has two teenage sons, rose to local fame as a doctor specializing in robotic and laparoscopic surgery for urinary obstruction at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Boston, where he was head of urology, and Steward Carney Hospital in Dorchester.
A former member of East Germany’s Olympic decathlon team and a professor of urology at Tufts University School of Medicine, according to his LinkedIn profile, Tuerk was known for playing classic rock during surgery and coming to work on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, the Globe reports.
In February, he was formally terminated from St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center after being investigated for inappropriately billing the state’s Medicaid program, court records show, the Globe and the Boston Herald report.
In November, Tuerk reached a $150,000 settlement for services he falsely said he had performed, according to the Massachusetts attorney general’s office, the Herald, and NBC Boston report.
As his stress grew, so did his alleged abuse of his wife, police and court records indicate, the Globe reports.
On Feb. 3, McLean told police that Tuerk had been physically abusive toward her and that she wanted a divorce, according to a Dover police report, the Globe reports.
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After he lost his job, “She said she was afraid of Ingolf and did not know what he would do once she had filed for divorce,” the report says, according to the Globe.
In February, she filed charges against her husband and obtained a restraining order against him, saying he had allegedly “repeatedly attacked” her -- strangling her and cutting her with scissors, court records state, the Globe reports.
In early May, the couple seemed to have reconciled when McLean asked the court to lift the restraining order on her husband, court records show.
“I feel safe and would like to bring my family back together with my husband,” McLean wrote in a May 2 court papers, the Globe reports. “My goal is to salvage our family.”
On Monday, Tuerk appeared in Dedham District Court for his arraignment, where he pleaded not guilty, according to the Norfolk District Attorney’s Office.
He was ordered held without bail and is scheduled to return to court on June 10.
His bail was also revoked for charges McLean had filed against him in February, including violation of a restraining order, assault, battery on a household member, strangulation and two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, a spokesman for the Norfolk District Attorney’s Office tells PEOPLE.
"I cannot comment on the pending charge," Tuerk's attorney, Howard Cooper, tells PEOPLE in an email. "I can say that Dr. Teurk is a renowned physician and surgeon. Over the years he has saved the lives of many patients suffering from serious illness. His life story is one of a great accomplishment, all of which is utterly inconsistent with the charge brought against him."