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Monday, February 18 , 2019, 1:25 pm | A Few Clouds 57º


Death of Mammoth Lakes Doctor Confirmed a Suicide

Andrew Bourne had been accused of sex crimes with a Santa Barbara teen girl

The death of a Mammoth Lakes man accused of sexual misconduct with a Santa Barbara teen girl has been confirmed a suicide, the Mono County Sheriff’s Department reported Monday.

Andrew C. Bourne
Andrew C. Bourne

Andrew C. Bourne, 46, was found dead Jan. 24 by his wife on Hot Creek Hatchery Road outside the town of Mammoth Lakes. The Orange County coroner conducted an autopsy Friday confirming that Bourne had committed suicide, but the final cause of death hasn’t been determined pending toxicology test results. There was no evidence of foul play, according to the Mono County Sheriff’s Department.

Bourne, a vascular surgeon and former chief of staff at Mammoth Hospital and former Mammoth Lakes Unified School District trustee, was charged along with Mammoth Lakes businessman Joseph T. Walker, 48, of unlawful contact with a child with the intent to commit a sexual crime.

Bourne was terminated as a surgeon in mid-January. He resigned from the school board Jan. 13.

The parents of a Santa Barbara teenage girl found suspicious emails from the two men, and a police investigation determined that a two-year relationship preceded the discovery, starting when the girl was 14. Walker has been charged with one count of a lewd act with a child.

According to authorities, Bourne and Walker own part-time homes in Santa Barbara, and they were friends of the girl’s family.

Both men were released from the Santa Barbara County Jail after pleading not guilty to charges and making $750,000 bail each. They were both subject to electronic monitoring as a condition of their release, which is how Bourne’s body was found, according to media reports.

The Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office is amending the criminal complaint to remove Bourne and could add charges against Walker, District Attorney Joyce Dudley told Noozhawk.

Walker is scheduled to appear in Santa Barbara County Superior Court on Feb. 10 for a preliminary hearing setting.

Bourne’s wife, children and other family members will hold a memorial service on Saturday in Mammoth, according to the Sierra Wave.

The Mammoth Hospital community was “aghast to learn of his death,” Mammoth Hospital CEO Gary Boyd wrote in a letter to the editor to Sierra Wave.

The hospital’s surgery staff has been working hard to cover Bourne’s patients and get organized. Other staff members are covering for Bourne’s relative, Dr. Jonathon Bourne, who also works at Mammoth Hospital, so he can spend time with his family, according to Boyd.

“The process has begun to find permanent surgeons to replace and continue the great program established by Dr. Bourne, a physician who cannot be replaced,” Boyd wrote. “I think the blur of information in January is starting to fade and many of us are beginning to focus on the positives that Dr. Bourne brought to us in his five-year career at Mammoth Hospital. I can think of patients whose lives he saved and whose lives he improved, such as the young lady who crashed into a tree while skiing and the snowboarder who sliced his arm nearly in half. He was there for them and many others.”

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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