The body of a Bakersfield, California internist was discovered hanging inside her boyfriend’s chimney, in a home on La Mirada Drive, according to a police spokeswoman.
According to homicide investigators, Doctor Jacquelyn Kotarac, was involved in an “on again-off again” relationship with the owner of the home. William Moodie, a 58-year old business owner, had left the house, unnoticed by Kotarac, in order to avoid what he expected would be a confrontation.
Investigators suspect that the 49-year-old woman believed Moodie was inside the house at the time, while ignoring her banging on the door. She first apparently tried to get inside the home by prying the back door open with a shovel. When that failed, she climbed a ladder to the roof after dark. Police say evidence indicates she removed the chimney cap and slid feet first down the flue, where she became stuck in the narrowing of the chimney.
The body was found on a Saturday evening, by a friend of the homeowner, who had reportedly dropped by to check the aquarium. The woman reported to police that when she smelled a foul odor coming from the fireplace, she looked up inside and discovered the body suspended, just a few feet above the hearth. The doctor’s purse, keys and cell phone were found undisturbed outside on the lawn.
Bakersfield firefighters spent five hours that Saturday night, breaking through the outside brick chimney wall and flue in order to retrieve the doctor’s body.
The homeowner, William Moodie, made the following statement to the press:
“Jacquelyn made an unbelievable error in judgment and nobody understands why. Unfortunately she’s passed away. She had her issues – she had her demons – but I never lost my respect for her.”
The medical staff for Doctor Koterac, age 49, had reported her missing two days before, when she failed to show up for work at her medical office on San Dimas street.
California State Medical Board website indicates Doctor Koterac was a 1991 graduate of UCLA School of Medicine. She was affiliated with Bakersfield Heart Hospital.