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Doctor held on $5 million bond in death of wife

MANSFIELD, Ohio -- A doctor who closed his practice and bought a house in Pennsylvania with his pregnant mistress has been charged in the death of his wife and ordered held on $5 million bond, authorities said Sunday.

Dr. John F. Boyle Jr., 46, Mansfield, was charged Thursday with aggravated murder in the death of his wife Noreen, 44. Her body was found Thursday under a concrete basement floor of an Erie, Pa., house the doctor had recently purchased.

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The Boyles, married for 22 years, were in the process of getting a divorce, but still lived together in their fashionable Mansfield home, said Richland County Prosecutor James Mayer Jr.

Mayer said Mrs. Boyle filed for divorce in November after learning her husband was involved with a 26-year-old woman who is carrying his child.

Police tried to talk to the doctor New Year's Day after a close friend of Mrs. Boyle reported her missing, but the doctor refused to cooperate.

Police, however, talked to the couple's son, Collier, 11, who told them he heard his parents arguing several hours earlier, the Pittsburgh Press reported.

'I heard loud talking coming from my mother's bedroom ... I then heard a scream and a thump, like a body hitting a wall,' the child told police.

The Erie Daily Times reported the couple's 3-year-old adopted daughter, Elizabeth, used a doll to show police how her mother was choked until her body went limp.

The mistress, whom Boyle introduced to a real estate agent as his wife 'Sherry Boyle,' co-signed the mortgage for the home using that name, Mayer said. The purchase of the $300,000 home was completed Dec. 15.

The real estate agent said Boyle came to her office Dec. 30, dressed in work boots, plaid shirt and jeans, inquiring what was under the basement of his new home. He said he was considering lowering the floor.

On Thursday, Erie County investigators spent about three hours breaking through fresh concrete in the basement and discovered the body. It was wrapped in a tarpaulin and the head was wrapped in plastic, authorities said.

Medical examiners for the Allegheny County coroner's office in Pittsburgh used dental records to make the identification, said Merle Wood, Erie County coroner. An autopsy showed Mrs. Boyle suffocated.

Mayer said he requested the high bond so that the doctor wouldn't flee.

'This guy, probably realistically, could have made a $500,000 bail,' Mayer said. 'We didn't want him taking off to South America or the Fiji Islands or something.'

Boyle has pleaded innocent and the case will go to the grand jury next month.

He is a 1973 graduate of University of Pennsylvania and a graduate of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathy. He closed his Mansfield office Dec. 31. andtold patients he planned to work as a medical consultant at the Metro Health Center in Erie.

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