A prominent Massachusetts doctor was charged with murder on Monday, May 18 for allegedly killing his wife of just a few months. Dr. Ingolf Tuerk, 58, allegedly confessed to strangling his wife, Kathleen McLean, 45, to death following an argument, according to the criminal complaint from the district court in Dedham, southwest of Boston, as reported by The Boston Globe.

Tuerk Admits to Killing McLean, Dumping Body in Pond

Ingolf Tuerk and Kathleen McLean
Ingolf Tuerk and Kathleen McLean. Twitter / Peter Eliopoulos

The surgeon said he and his wife were under the influence of alcohol when they started arguing with each other. In the heat of the situation, McLean allegedly hit him on the head with an object and "he reacted to that aggressive situation and choked Katie," until she passed out.

Tuerk later realized he had taken things too far and that McLean had died due to the strangulation, according to a police report filed in court. Panicking, Tuerk carried her body to her jeep and drove to a nearby pond, where he dumped her remains.

McLean had been missing since Thursday, May 14, and investigators were looking into her disappearance when Tuerk confessed to the crime and led police to the pond where he hid the body on Saturday, May 16. When police recovered McLean's body, they found rocks and stones placed in the pockets of her pants. Arraigned by video conference, Tuerk pleaded not guilty and was ordered held without bail.

Tuerk's History of Abuse

McLean, who married Tuerk in December after dating him for a few years, filed a restraining order against the doctor in February after he allegedly cut her hand with scissors, slammed her to the floor and covered her nose and mouth till she passed out, according to court documents. Tuerk was arrested two days later for violating the order, court records show.

A Prominent Doctor

At one time, Tuerk was considered a top surgeon at St. Elizabeth's Medical Center and was once the head of the hospital's urology department. However, last year, Tuerk, also known as "Harry," agreed to pay $150,000 as part of a settlement against allegations that he falsely billed the state's Medicaid program for "portions of surgical procedures that never took place and office visits that he did not attend or supervise." He was fired from the hospital over a year ago, as pointed out by CNN.