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Las Vegas cosmetic surgeon found dead in car at Calico Basin

A Las Vegas cosmetic surgeon was found dead Tuesday in his car at Calico Basin in the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.

Dr. William John Rifley III, 55, died from a gunshot wound to the head, Clark County coroner’s office staff said Wednesday. His death was ruled a suicide.

The founder of the Rifley Institute of Cosmetic Surgery, 2800 N. Tenaya Way, was found about 8 a.m. at the Calico Basin turnoff from State Route 159, Las Vegas police said.

Rifley graduated from the University of Arizona School of Medicine, then went on to complete a residency at University Medical Center in Las Vegas, according to his practice’s website. He received his plastic surgery license from the Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners in 1995.

Clark County court records show Rifley was the defendant in two malpractice suits in 2011 and a third in 2014, which remains open.

According to Nevada Board of Medical Examiner records, Rifley paid just over $300,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by a patient who alleged he performed numerous unnecessary surgeries that caused permanent disability.

Contact Kimberly De La Cruz at kdelacruz@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0381. Find her on Twitter: @KimberlyinLV

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