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Woman's body found in boyfriend's chimney after she tries to sneak into home

August 31, 2010 |  6:04 pm

A woman's decomposing body was found wedged inside her boyfriend's chimney after she tried to sneak into his Bakersfield house, authorities said Tuesday.

The body of Jacquelyn Kotarac, 49, a doctor who had an "on-again, off-again" relationship with the man, was stuck in the chimney for three days before being discovered by woman who was house-sitting, the Bakersfield Police Department said. Authorities said Kotarac died of asphyxiation.

The woman "smelled an odor and realized it was coming from the fireplace," Sgt. Mary DeGeare said.

Kotarac had come to the home Wednesday night but the boyfriend wouldn't let her in.  "To avoid a confrontation," DeGeare said, "he wouldn't let her in."

So Kotarac used a shovel and tried unsuccessfully to force her way in through a back door, police said. She then climbed the roof and slid down the chimney. But her boyfriend had already left the house, police said.

Kotarac was found stuck about 2 feet above the interior fireplace opening. In concluding that she died of asphyxiation, the Bakersfield coroner's office deemed the death an accident.

-- Robert J. Lopez