Alberta man staged suicide to avoid extradition
A judge has scoffed at what he calls a man’s B-movie attempt to stage his suicide and assume a new identity to avoid being sent to the United States on child luring charges.
Court records say Robert Andronyk of Edmonton vanished last fall after appealing a federal government decision that ordered him extradited to Arizona to face allegations from 2013 of luring a minor for sexual exploitation.
The records say that RCMP found an abandoned vehicle Nov. 30 outside the city near a bridge over the partly frozen North Saskatchewan River. A suicide note addressed to Andronyk’s daughter was inside.
The note said Andronyk, 70, feared extradition, faced lengthy prison time and couldn’t afford a lawyer. Mounties started a search and noted smudge marks on the bridge railing, but couldn’t find any trace of Andronyk despite bringing in a dog team and a helicopter.
“Based on my observations at the location, I believed Robert Andronyk may have jumped off the Vinca bridge,” Const. Jeffrey Pettigrew wrote in an affidavit.
Andronyk’s daughter told Mounties she had found her father’s wallet, driver’s licence, credit card, medications and a list of funeral songs at his home.
When Mounties dug deeper, they learned Andronyk had recently given his daughter a large sum of money.
The Crown grew skeptical when RCMP learned Canadian passport investigators were looking into a suspected fraudulent application. RCMP said they believed Andronyk had submitted a false application using his brother’s name and birth date, but using a photo of himself.