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8/31/2010 4:19:18 PM ET BAKERSFIELD, Calif. —

A doctor involved in an “on-again, off-again” relationship apparently tried to force her way into her boyfriend’s home by sliding down the chimney, police said Tuesday. Her decomposing body was found there three days later. Dr. Jacquelyn Kotarac, 49, first tried to get into the house with a shovel, then climbed a ladder to the roof last Wednesday night, removed the chimney cap and slid feet first down the flue, Bakersfield police Sgt. Mary DeGeare said. While she was trying to break in, the man she was pursuing escaped unnoticed from another exit “to avoid a confrontation,” authorities said. DeGeare said the two were in an “on-again, off-again” relationship. The man’s identity was not revealed by police, but the man who resides in the home is William Moodie. He declined to comment when reached Tuesday by The Associated Press, saying police instructed him not to discuss the matter. ..Kotarac apparently died in the chimney, but her body was not discovered until a house-sitter noticed a stench and fluids coming from the fireplace Saturday, according to a police statement. The house-sitter and her son investigated with a flashlight and found Kotarac dead, wedged about two feet above the top of the interior fireplace opening. Firefighters spent five hours late Saturday dismantling the chimney and flue from outside the home to extract Kotarac’s body, DeGeare said. Officials said Kotarac’s office staff reported her missing two days prior when she failed to show for work. Her car and belongings remained near the man’s house. A cause of death has not been determined, and an autopsy was scheduled for Tuesday. Foul play is not suspected, though investigators have been looking into the incident as suspicious.

2/15/2011 9:52:00 PM Fire contained to chimney at Castle Canyon Mesa home

The Daily Courier Firefighters put out a chimney fire on Sunday at a home in the 3700 block of Prescott East Highway in Castle Canyon Mesa west of Prescott Valley. When Central Yavapai firefighters arrived the flames were shooting out of the chimney, said Charlie Cook, spokesman for the Central Yavapai Fire District. Firefighters quickly put out the fire, which was contained to the chimney, Cook said. “The chimney pipe had not been cleaned for some time and a fire ignited soot and buildup in the chimney pipe,” Cook said. The fire district recommends that people get the chimney in their home cleaned at the start of fall. People who burn pine wood in their fireplace need to check the chimney pipe once a month, because when pine burns it creates more sap on the inside of the fireplace than other woods like juniper and oak, Cook said.

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