Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon And Fiance Found Dead

This is a strange story out of Utah.  A plastic surgeon, previously convicted of kidnapping his fiance, was recently released early from jail for good behavior.    Four days later, he and his fiance were found dead in his home in Orem.  It reads like a story straight from Dateline.  From the Salt Lake Tribune:

Berg appeared to have successful practice at the Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Institute in Orem. Then on Nov. 6., according to charging documents, Berg attacked Schwartz in his home, grabbing her hair and dragging her to a bedroom closet.

During the altercation, Schwartz managed to dial 911 from a bathroom phone, which she left off the hook, the charges state. In the recording, nothing is said directly into the phone but a woman can be heard pleading for a man to stop.

Berg tied Schwartz’s hands and tried to stop her from screaming by covering her mouth, first with his hands and then with a cloth, court documents state.

After 20 minutes of knocking, according to court documents, police forced their way into the home and found Schwartz bound and kneeling in a closet.

In April, Berg pleaded guilty to a reduced count of second-degree felony kidnapping and two third-degree felony counts of possession of a controlled substance and possession of a firearm by a restricted person. He admitted an addiction to pain killers. He was sentenced to 180 days in jail followed by 36 months of probation, including anger management and substance abuse treatment.

Utah County jail records show Berg reported there April 25 and was released Thursday. A jail employee on Monday said Berg was released early for good behavior.

Joseph Berg and Luz “Lucy” Schwartz stuck together even after Berg, a plastic surgeon, was convicted of kidnapping her.

“Joseph is not a threat to me or to his children,” Schwartz wrote in a letter to a judge in July. “He is an extremely loving Father and fiancée.”

Berg, 47, and Schwartz, 49, were found together one last time Monday: They were dead inside Berg’s home in Orem.

Orem police Sgt. Craig Martinez said there were no signs of trauma on the bodies. The police department is waiting for the results of autopsies.

“It’s still so early on in the investigation, we can’t even say what the cause of death is,” Martinez said.

Although he was a real, board-certified plastic surgeon, I’d never heard of Dr. Berg prior to this story.  Sounds like he had a major drug addiction and his relationship with Schwartz was quite violent.  It’s sad that Schwartz couldn’t get herself away from Berg, even joining him in death.

Could you imagine if your plastic surgeon was this crazy?

To my patients: Don’t worry.  I’m nothing like this lunatic.

Like many husbands, my wife can kick my ass.

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Posted in: Plastic Surgery News


Responses:

  1. Wow, that is a rather crazy story! Will be interesting to find out whether he murdered her before killing himself or whether they pulled a Romeo & Juliet stunt!

    Comment by dental loans on August 30, 2012 at 9:37 am

  2. The police knocked for 20 minutes before forcing their way in? With a woman on a 911 call in there? A bit overly polite, aren’t they?

    Comment by Laurie on August 31, 2012 at 1:18 am

  3. I wondered the same thing, Laurie! You think they would knock down the door after about a minute!

    Comment by Editor on August 31, 2012 at 1:22 am

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