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Autopsy: NDSCS student found in Red River died from gunshot wound

Andrew John Sadek

WAHPETON, N.D. – Autopsy results on the North Dakota State College of Science student who disappeared just before he was to graduate last spring show he died from a gunshot wound to the head, school officials say.

Andrew John Sadek had last been seen walking away from his residence hall around 2 a.m. May 1.

The news that he was missing launched intensive air, ground and water searches for the missing 20-year-old, including instructions from law enforcement for residents in the area to check their land and outbuildings for signs of Sadek.

Friends and family helping with the searches and praying for him to come home were shocked in mid-May when police announced that Sadek had been charged in Richland County District Court with felony drug distribution after allegedly dealing marijuana on the college campus.

Regional drug task force officials previously declined to say whether authorities had approached Sadek about his alleged drug deals before he disappeared.

Sadek’s body was found in the Red River near Breckenridge, Minn., in late June.

A toxicology test released Saturday with the autopsy findings showed there were no drugs in Sadek’s system at the time of his death.

School official Barbara Spaeth-Baum said because Sadek’s manner of death is still considered undetermined, campus police are keeping their investigation open.

Their search for the weapon is ongoing.

Spaeth-Baum said she could not comment on whether police had indicated to her whether they consider it likely the gunshot was the work of another person or if it was self-inflicted.

“We would just continue to repeat, campus police do not believe there’s any threat” to the campus community or public, Spaeth-Baum said.

Counseling was available on campus to students who expressed interest in speaking with a professional, Spaeth-Baum said.

The release of Sadek’s autopsy results coincided with move-in day for the new semester at the school, a coincidence of timing she agreed was upsetting.

However, no students had approached school officials with concerns over the details of his death revealed by the autopsy, she said.

Students who had struggled to understand why Sadek would have left without a word had finally come to some closure when Sadek was located two months ago, Spaeth-Baum said.

Spaeth-Baum said she believed Sadek’s parents, John and Tammy Sadek of Rogers, N.D., had been aware of their son’s autopsy results for some time prior to Saturday’s release.

However, she said, “I imagine today might be a hard day for them.”

The Sadeks declined to comment for this story.