Practice English Speaking&Listening with: The Disappearance of Andrew Sadek: What Really Happened to Him?

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- [Narrator] Andrew Sadek, known to his family and friends

simply as a smooth and shy young man, was quiet,

introspective, and connected with the natural world.

His deep rooted passion with the outdoors,

like farming and fishing, as well as his inclination

to build relationships, was cut short

by an unexplainable, unsolved death

in an unknown time period soon after 2:00 a.m.

on May 1st, 2014, leaving all who knew him

across his hometown of Valley City, North Dakota

grasping for answers in a sea of evidence

that drowned us all in doubt.

As a hope to provide more substantial reasoning

built upon observable evidence and situational analysis,

this is an examination of the death of Andrew Sadek,

and the rain cloud of questions left at Red River

in Breckenridge, Minnesota.

This is Cold Case Detective.

(suspenseful music)

Andrew Sadek was born on November 22nd, 1993

to parents John and Tammy in Valley City, North Dakota.

Growing up in a rural part

of the United States' northern Midwest,

Andrew was surrounded by the natural world

and the farming lifestyle from an early age.

His extended family owned and operated a cattle ranch

near Rogers, North Dakota, and thus Andrew learned the ropes

of agriculture right from the beginning.

He especially loved fishing and hunting,

as well as spending summer afternoons

cooped up in an old garage working on hobby cars.

It was an idyllic, serene, Norman Rockwell-styled image

of life in Simpleville, USA.

Andrew was also a younger sibling

and grew up with an older brother, Nicholas.

The two spent many days together throughout their youth

and reaped the benefits of a beautiful home life

and close-knitted family.

However, tragedy actually struck the Sadek bloodline

almost a decade prior to Andrew's death.

In 2005, Nicholas was unexpectedly killed

at a railroad crossing in North Dakota, struck by a train

whilst in the car with his then-girlfriend.

The train tracks were unmarked and the crash was accidental,

but the tragedy pained all of those involved nonetheless.

The Sadek family was broken,

but pushed on through life as the years wore on.

From being a toddler, through elementary school

to his years as a teenager, Andrew was always considered

a shy and introverted boy.

He rarely broke from his inner circle of friends and peers,

and steered clear of trouble in school.

After the sudden loss of his brother,

Andrew struggled to fully heal from such a piercing wound,

but persevered through keeping to himself

and sticking to his virtues.

Andrew graduated Valley City High School

and sought out higher education

to continue his academic career and study

to become an electrical technician.

Thus, Andrew enrolled in 2012

at North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton.

The program offered a chance at a two-year-degree,

and an opportunity for Andrew to chase a passion of his

and set up a fruitful future.

In his first year, Andrew lived just as he had done

all throughout high school.

He was a vigorous studier, stayed away from parties,

and focused on the educational aspects of college.

However, as his time there went by,

Andrew slowly evolved from his shy personality,

making new friends and taking advantage

of the freedom college afforded him.

He soon started spending more nights out and about,

continuing to create new relationships.

In 2013, his social blossoming peaked,

as rumors allegedly claim this was the time period

in which Andrew began selling marijuana across campus,

a very small operation that would sadly lead

to humongous consequences

and spawn an endless pitfall of mystery.

In April of 2013, Andrew makes his first confirmed sale

of marijuana to other college peers,

using the parking lot at North Dakota State CS.

Sometime between April and October of the same year,

he ends up making sales to confidential informants,

Andrew's fellow students who were working

for the Southeast Multi-County Agency, also known as SEMCA.

SEMCA is a task force comprised of police officers

from drug enforcement agencies

around Southeastern North Dakota counties

of Ransom, Richland, and Sargent Counties,

in addition to the neighboring Minnesota county of Wilkin.

The first sale was for 3.5 grams for $60,

the second being just one gram for $20.

As a result of the sale to CI,

SEMCA performs a search of Andrew's college dorm room

in November of 2013, with consent from Andrew himself.

The agents discover marijuana residue

on an orange plastic grinder, and Andrew admits ownership

of the tainted item, but is neither arrested

or charged with a crime.

However, the day after SEMCA searched his dorm room,

Andrew is summoned by Jason Weber, SEMCA officer

and Richland County sheriff deputy.

Jason informs Andrew that under North Dakota law

selling marijuana on a college campus is a Class A felony.

To avoid a possible 40-year sentencing

based on consecutive charges, Andrew agrees

to become a confidential informant for SEMCA

on that fateful November day.

Before November comes to a close,

Andrew makes his first two buys as a CI,

a pair of controlled purchases in the amount of $60 each

for 3.5 grams, just like his original sale.

A couple months later in January of 2014,

Andrew orchestrates a different controlled purchase,

of similar size to the November operations,

but still under the oversight of SEMCA.

After the January buys, Andrew decides he's had enough

of the confidential informant life

and stops all controlled dealing with SEMCA.

SEMCA announces they only need him

to make two more official purchases, one from a known dealer

whom Andrew used to buy from himself,

as well as one from a new unidentified dealer.

Completing these buys would release Andrew

from his CI obligations and allegedly from SEMCA in general,

but Andrew dismisses the project.

However, Andrew does keep in contact with Jason Weber

on a monthly basis until April of 2014.

In between, Andrew prepares for his future

by traveling to places like Bismarck

and Grand Forks, North Dakota to interview

for job positions as an electrician.

He also begins dating a new girlfriend

and setting himself up well for life after college.

On the final weekend of the month, April 25th and 26th,

Andrew returns home to Rogers, North Dakota

to visit with family and help out with the cattle ranch.

In the evening of the 26th, Andrew returns to his dormitory

and talks to his mother over the phone.

The pair discuss their cell phone plan

and its data limit reaching the max.

It would be the last contact Andrew makes with his family.

A few days pass by and on April 30th

Andrew goes out with his roommate, Drew Kugel,

and a few other friends for a nightlife adventure.

The band of friends return to Nordgaard Hall,

the name of the men's living quarters,

and watch a movie together.

The movie finishes and Drew and Andrew head to bed.

A couple of hours later, at around 2:00 a.m.

on May 1st, 2014, security cameras around Nordgaard Hall

capture Andrew walking out of the building.

He wears a Tampa Bay Buccaneers sweatshirt with a hood,

carries a black book bag on his back,

and possesses his phone,

though that is turned off at the moment.

This would be the last confirmed sighting

of Andrew whilst alive.

When Drew wakes up later that morning on May 1st,

he notices Andrew is missing but doesn't feel much concern,

assuming Andrew went to visit his girlfriend.

That afternoon, however, Drew and friends realize

Andrew never returned for his classes,

and quickly report him missing to the NDSCS campus police.

Not long after the report is filed,

police discover the CCTV footage of Andrew

and report it to fellow law enforcement agencies.

SEMCA gets wind of Andrew's disappearance

and immediately speculate that he ran away

to avoid the confidential informant work

he still owed to authorities.

In an attempt to persuade Andrew back home,

SEMCA charges Andrew with the two felonies

they originally threatened him a year earlier in 2013.

A few days after the disappearance,

with no sign or trace of Andrew discovered,

the Sadek family pleaded for him to return,

asking he return and assist with the Spring calving

on their ranch, but to no avail.

From early May to late June of 2014,

investigators comb the surrounding areas

around North Dakota State College of Science.

They interview family members,

friends, peers, and associates.

They trudge through woods and scale any

and all suspicious terrain.

Their 50-day search appears all for nothing

until a breakthrough strikes after spring turns to summer.

On June 27th, 2014, a police dive team discovers a body

in the waters of Red River near Breckenridge, Minnesota,

across the way from Wahpeton, during a training exercise

and not an intentional search for Andrew.

They confirm his identity

after a dental records hit matches DNA profiles.

Even after a thorough autopsy

by both the medical examiner and state police,

the cause of death is announced

as a gunshot wound to the head, but cannot be confirmed

as either a suicide or homicide.

These findings split law enforcement from the Sadek family,

who were certain Andrew wouldn't end his own life

while SEMCA and North Dakota authorities

said Andrew committed suicide

to permanently escape the CI work.

Regardless, the inconsistent casework

and unspecified results have cast Andrew Sadek's death

in a whirlwind of inconclusivity.

On his birthday, November 22nd, 2013,

Andrew Sadek was brought

into the Richland County Sheriff's Office

by Jason Weber of SEMCA, after he and other authorities

discovered weed residue in Andrew's dorm room,

and the information that Andrew

was selling marijuana on campus.

What ensued was a cool, calm,

and collected police interrogation

that may hold more clues in context

than the casual viewer will pick up on.

Take a look.

- It's your birthday today. - Yeah.

- [Jason] Probably not what you wanna be doing

on your birthday, huh?

All right.

Did you tell your roommate what you have going on?

All right, that's probably a good thing.

All right, well you expressed interest

that you probably wanna help yourself out.

- Yeah. - Okay.

Like I said you're facing two felonies,

and then of course the misdemeanor charge from yesterday.

Two felonies of deliveries, since they took place on campus,

both of them, so they're Class A felonies,

20 years of prison, $20,000 fine and/or both, okay?

So, potentially, the max is 40 years of prison,

$40,000 fine, you understand that?

- Yeah. - Okay.

Obviously, you're probably not gonna get 40 years,

but is it a good possibility that you're gonna get

some prison time, if you don't help yourself out?

Yeah, there is, okay?

That's probably not a way

to start off your young adult life and career, right?


what I'm gonna ask for you to do

is to do some buys for me though, okay,

where you have to wear a wire, you have to go buy marijuana

from individuals, and then, you know,

depend upon how you do and so forth, you know,

a lot of this could go away.

You know, is it all gonna go away, probably not.

Are you gonna probably have to plead guilty,

to like, maybe a misdemeanor possession of marijuana?

Probably, you know.

But at least you're not pleading guilty to felonies.

Okay, is that fair enough?

- Very fair. - Okay.

Is there individuals that you know on campus

or around town or whatever that you can buy from?

- There's

one chick that sells out of the campus apartment

that I know of. - Who's that?

- I'm not sure the name, but I have a few buddies

that buy from her. - Okay.

Would it be uncommon for you to buy that much though?

- Yeah. - Okay.

I mean, if you went and bought that much,

would he be like "What the hell"?

- Probably, maybe, I don't know.

- [Jason] If you went and bought an ounce?

- That would be more reasonable.

- That would be more reasonable to say you're trying slow,

make some money on campus? - Okay.

- [Jason] We could probably,

we could try and entertain that idea,

you know, setting up with Fargo,

that's the different task force,

but you're willing to help them out, then, you know,

I'll give you credit down here.

You can't buy from anybody else?

- No, I have a lot of people that I talk to,

and I know buyers, but no.

- [Narrator] The first portion of the interview

contains some pretty common passive aggressive tactics

used by law enforcement, especially considering the youth

and inexperience Andrew has in terms of dealing with police.

They make an unnecessary comment

about Andrew spending his birthday with authorities,

immediately followed by the fact that Andrew's offense

is technically a Class A felony

in the state of North Dakota.

The officer continues with barrage of negatives,

hinting that the smart move would be for Andrew

to help a CI.

The later half of the video is a bit hard to dissect,

but does provide some interesting information

that might have led to Andrew's deteriorating outlook

on his situation.

The deputy asks what's the biggest amount

Andrew thinks he could purchase is,

and when Andrew says a number higher than he's used to,

the officer hints he still might need Andrew

to make an outlier buy, which could raise the stakes

for Andrew's credibility.

The officer also makes a comment that he thinks SEMCA

could arrange for Andrew to go into Fargo,

North Dakota, as well, to make controlled purchases

as a CI and gather intel in a bigger city

with a different seller.

Fargo is of course a much trickier prospect,

in terms of Andrew's experience.

Andrew just slung minimal amounts of marijuana

around his college campus.

Venturing into Fargo, North Dakota

would elevate beyond small time drug dealing.

While it's not a major threat

or even intended to scare Andrew,

just the fact that Jason Weber

spewed the idea into Andrew's subconscious,

could've planted the seed of a bigger issue.

Andrew growing miserable with having the expectations

of helping police, going behind his friends back,

and most importantly, jumping into the shadowy situation

of crossing paths of bigger players

who could entertain harsh consequences,

if he's spotlighted as a narc.

(gentle piano music)

A vast majority of law enforcement personnel

and some followers of the case do not budge from the idea

that Andrew Sadek committed suicide.

The SEMCA officers involved with the confidential informants

claimed many of their CIs were hard pressed

to get out of their situations,

many of them abandoning their responsibilities

to purposefully be arrested, rather going to jail

than continue making controlled drug exchanges.

While Andrew certainly didn't enjoy

having to work for SEMCA, he never outright said

he wasn't going to do it anymore,

or showed explicit signs that it was stressing him out.

In addition, Andrew never displayed suicidal tendencies,

nor had any known struggles with mental illnesses.

While that doesn't rule out suicide,

having zero history of ideation

combined with an improved social and personal life

at the time of his disappearance

creates more than a reasonable doubt

in the majority's theory.

One key piece of evidence

that does support this theory, however,

is the fact that the .22 caliber pistol

belonging to the Sadek family went missing

shortly before Andrew did himself.

It would be sensible to assume Andrew took the firearm

with him at some point, maybe for protection,

maybe for taking his own life.

What hurts this supposed clue, though,

is that the gun has never been found.

It was never pulled from Red River

despite numerous dive teams combing through the riverbed.

It was never recovered by another member

of the Sadek family.

And because of such misfortune,

it was never confirmed nor denied

to be the actual weapon that took Andrew's life.

Was it unlikely to be the bullet

of another .22 caliber gun that killed Andrew?

Probably not.

But without the firearm being present

at Andrew's body recovery point, it makes little sense

for Andrew to have killed himself

without leaving the gun nearby,

or for him to have taken his own life elsewhere,

but to end up at the bottom of the river.

It wasn't just the missing weapon

that foiled this suicide theory, but other missing items

hinted at foul play, too, or at least dissuaded conspiracies

surrounding self-inflicted gunshot wounds.

Andrew's Tampa Bay sweatshirt wasn't on his person

or in his car, and the jacket he was wearing

wasn't familiar to any of his friends,

his girlfriend, or his mother.

In addition, Andrew's wallet was not on his body

when it was found, nor was it discovered

in Red River after the submerged searches.

The lack of a wallet would suggest robbery,

and the lack of Andrew's clothes would suggest

he engaged in some sort of physical activity

between the CCTV footage captured him leaving the dormitory

and ending up in Red River.

What the quarrel could be is nearly infinite,

but definitely could be a major piece in a puzzle

leading towards a different type of hypothesis,

one revolving around untraceable, unconnecting homicide.

Our first step with investigating a possible homicide

is checking in on the status of serial killers

or potentially serialized murders in the general vicinity

of Richland County, North Dakota in 2014.

Sadly, the research is fruitless, probably a byproduct

of the recency in Andrew's death.

There was no known homicide victims

that fit Andrew's description

around the time of his disappearance,

nor are there any documented serial killers

in the northern Midwest region

dating to those surrounding months.

However, these statistics can sometimes

stay hidden for years after the fact,

patterns not realized until a decade later,

or a serial killer remains unidentified until capture.

It's not likely, but wondering if Andrew ran

into a shadowy figure at the peak

of their invisible reign of torment isn't a complete mirage.

Stemming from the branches of murderous theories,

is a conspiracy, highlighting a covered up internal scheme

orchestrated by SEMCA officers themselves.

This theory quickly points out that it was the police

who first suggested Andrew committed suicide

rather than be a victim of homicide,

deciding his distaste towards his role as a CI

turned him towards darkness.

These agents claimed that other confidential informants

with similar personal histories as Andrew

either committed suicide to escape responsibility,

or deliberately defiled orders,

deciding incarceration was better

than risking their lives for undercover drug dealing.

The theorists themselves string together wild hypotheses

believing that Andrew might have threatened

to help his fellow buyers around campus

and blow up SEMCA's operation,

leaving law enforcement to decide

whether or not to let him go or make him pay.

It's a ridiculous assumption to believe authorities

would go to such a stretch and kill Andrew themselves,

and then immediately point blame elsewhere.

Whereas they could've just charged Andrew with a felony

and sent him to prison for a long time

like originally intended.

It would be a lazy inside job if true,

and while the police are wrong

to just assume suicide was the correct label,

it doesn't automatically signal guilt.

Rather, it shows their lack of interest in Andrew's case,

blowing it by for the sake of upholding

their own priorities.

(suspenseful music)

Before we divulge our hypothesis

of Andrew's unsolved demise, we want to make known

our conclusions presented in Cold Case Detective

are purely logical speculation

based on evidence, circumstance, and factual subtext.

We're only privy to the same information

presented in each video, and we do not attempt

to promise certainty or an expert guarantee

on the findings we reach in closing.

We simply observe, research, and report.

While the proposed theories regarding Andrew Sadek's death

intrigue us and make one think

about the suspiciousness of the situation,

one hypothesis in particular sticks out from the rest

as the most plausible.

Andrew was killed by a known associate only to him,

as a result of his confidential informant work

getting exposed, or a vague drug incident turning sour.

The biggest point to this argument

is the fact that the item used to kill Andrew, a handgun,

was not found with the body in Red River,

in the vicinity of the crime scene,

or at any point since the discovery of his body.

It's physically impossible for Andrew to have killed himself

and moved his own body after the fact,

leaving zero trace or bread crumb trail

leading back to the weapon.

While it's peculiar that the Sadek family's gun

that went missing is more likely than not

the gun used in Andrew's death,

there are logical explanations

outside the topic of self-inflicted wounds.

For example, if Andrew was aware his CI work was exposed

to other drug dealers around the area

or fellow buyers around North Dakota,

Andrew might have taken the gun as protection,

in case he was confronted by disgruntled associates.

Or, Andrew wanted the gun to intimidate someone,

and it was stolen from him during a scuffle.

There's even a possibility that Andrew did intend

to use the weapon, and engaged in a firefight

that left him dead and the gun in the hands of the killer,

taken away to never be found again.

The presence of rocks in Andrew's backpack

also throw a wrench in the non-homicidal related theories

pinned to the case files.

Forcing his corpse to the bottom of the Red River,

so that it wouldn't be found,

is a common symptom of murder incidents all over the world.

Had Andrew simply wanted to take his own life,

the rocks and the river in general

seems like unnecessary steps to take.

The rocks feel like a ploy to hide something,

not as an additional tool in taking a life.

In addition, Andrew was wearing different clothing

than the garments that appear in the final CCTV footage

from the university's campus.

It's certainly plausible that he just changed clothes

between leaving school and his disappearance,

but with no leads pointing investigators

towards the Tampa Bay sweatshirt,

it makes you wonder if someone had taken the sweatshirt off

of Andrew's body in order to get rid of evidence

or make his weight lighter.

This makes sense when considering the theory

that Andrew was actually killed somewhere else

and then transported to Red River.

The Sadek family had Andrew's car analyzed,

and it was concluded that the sitting water

in the bottom of the vehicle

indicated a wet mass was sitting in the car

at some point shortly before its discovery,

strongly hinting that Andrew was put in the back

of his own car prior to being dumped into Red River.

There's a chance the theorized killer

dumped Andrew's body into a separate body of water,

maybe a pond or shallow lake,

and realized it was too obvious

or too close to his murder scene.

Thus, they retrieved the body, moved him in the car,

and put him in Red River.

On a similar note, the killer or killers

could have gotten drenched themselves in the Red River

and soaked the car when they hopped back

in Andrew's vehicle and drove away.

Regardless, there was more than likely a second party

that involved Andrew's vehicle

which resulted in its wet condition

when found by investigators,

but will never be known for sure, as the security cameras

at the University's student parking lot

were malfunctioning the night of Andrew's death.

Biggest argument of all is Andrew's utter lack of history

in battling mental illnesses,

displaying signs of suicidal tendencies

or creating a single cause of concern

in his family and friends

regarding the idea he could take his own life.

While Andrew had many difficulties

in both his personal and his social life,

nothing steered him into self-destruction.

In fact, at the time of his disappearance,

besides having to complete his CI work for drug dealing,

Andrew was on the up-and-up.

He had a great relationship with his girlfriend

and made excellent grades across his classes in school.

Dealing drugs could definitely have created

an invisible emotion and psychological stressors

around the end of Andrew's life,

but the true darkness probably came in the people

that Andrew encountered both intentionally and by chance.

The unexpected nature of crime and the criminal underworld

can bring forth destruction in the blink of an eye,

and all it takes is one wrong move or an unlucky mishap

for someone innocent to trip up

in front of someone malicious.

Thus, the risk in selling drugs,

combined with working with the police

at the knowledge of hardly anyone in his life,

left Andrew vulnerable to the unjust nature

of the CI side effects, and someone took away

his chance at escape and prosperity.

Nevertheless, we'll always remember Andrew

for the person he was prior to the negative labels

he received during the run-ins with SEMCA

and low-level college drug peddling.

Instead, we will see him as a quiet,

yet bright and burning young man

with endless potential and an honest hope

for not only himself, but his friends and family, too.

We will attribute his troubles to the positive outcome

of Andrew's Law, a law giving protections

to other confidential informants

and their rights to an attorney, and most of all,

their rights to speak up and share their thoughts.

We all deserve a chance to create our own futures,

and sadly, Andrew was stripped of the opportunity.

His soft-spoken, yet stone-hard diligence

will help retain his legacy as nothing more

than an American dreamer, striving for a life worth living.

This has been Cold Case Detective.

The Description of The Disappearance of Andrew Sadek: What Really Happened to Him?