- [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.
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?
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?
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?
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.
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.