Here is a head scratcher for all you detective types...


New Member
May 24, 2010
Toledo, OH
Autopsy awaits popular doctor who died in chimney

Submitted by Carol Ferguson on Monday, August 30th, 5:26 pm

Family and neighbors want answers about the death of a Bakersfield doctor whose body was found in a chimney early Sunday morning. Dr. Jacquelyn Kotarac has been identified as the victim pulled from the chimney at the home on the 4300 block of La Mirada Drive.

Relatives told Eyewitness News on Monday that Kotarac was a physician for at least 15 years and was beloved by her patients. She grew up in La Jolla and moved to Lake Isabella when she was about 16. That's when her father, also a physician, retired to the Kern River Valley.

Neighbors were stunned by word that Kotarac was found in the chimney.

"How does anyone think about going down a chimney," neighbor Victor Munoz said Monday morning. He said Kotarac was his neighbor's girlfriend.

Bakersfield police said Kotarac went to the house Wednesday night at about 10:15 and was reportedly trying to get inside. The boyfriend slipped out and spent the night somewhere else.

Kotarac didn't show up for work Thursday morning. Her assistant and the boyfriend went to the house, and they found some of her belongings in the back yard.

"Her purse was there, with her phone, her money was there, her credit cards and all that stuff," neighbor Terri Terrazas told Eyewitness News. Police said Kotarac's car was also there, but they saw no sign that she got into the house.

At that point, the boyfriend and Kotarac's assistant reported her missing. Neighbors said they were worried and tried looking for her.

Police Sgt. Mary DeGeare said the boyfriend spent Thursday night in the house before leaving for Europe on Friday.

Friday night, some neighbors said they smelled an odor, but they didn't connect that do the disappearance of Kotarac.

"Someone down the street said they thought they heard someone yelling quietly for help," Terrazas said.

Eyewitness News checked with that neighbor, and he believed it could be kids yelling from a nearby swimming pool. And he now doubts anything could have been heard in his yard from the chimney at the house two doors down the street.

Then, Saturday night a friend went to the boyfriend's house to take care of the fish tank while he was away. That friend noticed a strong odor and then found the victim's body in the flue about 2 feet above the top of the interior opening of the fire place.

Crews got to the home, and it took five hours to tear down the chimney.

"When they chipped away the fireplace, you could hear them jackhammering and chipping away," neighbor Terri Terrazas said.

Police said they have been investigating the death as suspicious, but as of Monday evening they found "no evidence of foul play."

"All evidence thus far indicates Kotarac accessed the roof via a ladder on her own volition, removed the chimney cap, and slid down the flue feet first," reads the BPD statement.

Kotarac has an office in the 3900 block of San Dimas. On Monday a note was left on the door saying the office would be closed for the day.

Last year Kotarac was selected by readers of The Bakersfield Californian as a favorite doctor. The family says she graduated from medical school with honors.

Relatives said Sunday would have been her 50th birthday. She leaves behind two sisters.

"It's really sad to see this had to happen to such a great individual," neighbor Victor Munoz said. He is also distressed at the thought the doctor went into the chimney.

"There's a flue down there, birds barely get by through a chimney," he said. "Let alone a human being who happens to be a doctor."

Link to the news story and also a video on there. ... ed-chimney

Fast LT1

May 24, 2010
Sedgwick County, KS
Santa Claus impersonator! That still must be a horrible way to die!

Jarred J.

Lifetime VIP Donor
May 21, 2010
Shelbyville, TN
so either this is a tiny house with no height to it, or did someone fail by not finding a ladder?
Jul 14, 2010
S.W. Ohio USA
So apparently this Fruitbat was stalking her boyfriend, and it was an attempt to break into his house. I guess the medical degree doesn't make you smart after all............


May 21, 2010
sounds like someone may of not trusted their boyfriend and attempted to sneak into the resd trying to catch him in the act,etc.. only question is again if they checked around the resd and found her belongings in the back yard they didnt happen to see a ladder set up against the house?

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