Las Vegas Sun

June 26, 2019

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Second suspect arrested in Las Vegas death of elderly California psychiatrist

A second suspect has been arrested in the slaying of a California psychiatrist whose body was found last month in the trunk of a ditched car in the east Las Vegas desert, Clark County Detention Center logs show.

Diana Paul Pena, 30, was booked today on one count each of murder and conspiracy to commit murder, jail and Las Vegas Justice Court records show.

Warrants for Pena and Jon Logan Kennison’s arrests were filed on April 5, two weeks after Kelsey Turner, 25, was taken into custody near Stockton, Calif., records show. Kennison’s warrant remains outstanding.

The trio is accused in the slaying of Thomas Kirk Burchard, 71, of Salinas, Calif., according to Metro Police.

On March 7, officers found Burchard’s body in a car found atop a desert berm alongside a road leading up to Lake Mead National Recreation Area, police said.

Around the time of his death, his longtime girlfriend in California reported him missing with Metro, who unsuccessfully tried to make contact with him at the house where officials suspect he was killed, police said.

His body lay under bedding and clothes in the trunk of a blue Mercedes-Benz, police said.

Police said Burchard, who was bludgeoned to death, was likely slain four days earlier, according to warrant documents. Investigators found evidence of splattered blood and an attempted clean-up in the house, located near Warm Springs Road and Amigo Street. He had paid rent on the property, where the suspects lived, through June.

Police said Burchard and Turner, an aspiring Las Vegas model whose work has appeared in Playboy Italy and Maxim, were in an intimate relationship.

Detectives implicated Turner, Kennison, who she recently began dating, and Pena, a Strip bartender, whose work identification card was found in the ditched car, police said.

After the slaying, Pena stopped showing up to work, not giving her bosses a reason, police said. Among her property, they found pieces of paper torn off Burchard’s personal notebook in which he kept financial records.

Before fingerprints identified Pena and Kennison earlier this month, the FBI had encountered Kennison when they arrested Turner in California, police said.

He’d agreed to meet with Metro detectives, but then disappeared, police said.

Turner was extradited back to Clark County on Friday, jail logs show.