People need to know the late Andrew Sadek was a human being, not a drug dealer, his mother Tammy, Rogers, North Dakota, said.
She remembers him as shy, described by the high school superintendent as “a gentle soul.” Andrew, according to her, was a homebody who learned to swim early, loved activities on the water and was never a leader type.
“He was the kind of kid who would just sit back and take it all in,” she said. “Whenever he had friends, it was never more than five in a group. He was very loyal to his friends.”
In May, Sadek and her husband John announced plans to file a wrongful death lawsuit against Richland County and Jason Weber, Wahpeton. Weber was named as an individual, a Richland County Sheriff’s deputy and as a task force officer of the Southeast Multi-County Agency drug task force, also known as SEMCA.
“He was bullied, I can’t think of another word, other than bullied, into becoming a CI (confidential informant),” Tammy Sadek said.
Weber’s attorney, Corey Quinton, Fargo, declined comment. He had advised Weber, who was also contacted, not to comment. Tim O’Keefe, one of the Sadeks’ attorneys, also declined to comment on the case.
Andrew Sadek, who was found in the Red River north of Breckenridge, Minnesota, on June 26, 2014, became a confidential informant for SEMCA in November 2013 after being detained for selling $80 worth of marijuana on the Wahpeton campus of North Dakota State College of Science. During Sadek’s time as a confidential informant, he performed three controlled buys in an undercover role, which included wearing an electronic listening device. Authorities have pieced together that he had last been seen leaving his dormitory at NDSCS at approximately 2 a.m. on May 1, 2014.
The autopsy report stated Sadek died from a gunshot wound to the head. The Daily News reported a toxicology drug screen was negative and no gun has been found.
In the time since, interest has remained high in who Andrew was.
“Somebody’s making stickers and putting them in downtown Fargo. They’re a drawing of Andrew’s face, saying ‘We’ll Never Forget.’ Somebody’s doing that, and I don’t know who’s doing that, but it’s nice to know that it’s still on people’s minds,” Tammy Sadek said.
Born Nov. 22, 1993, Andrew was the younger brother of the late Nick Sadek, who died when his automobile was hit by a train in 2005.
“He and his girlfriend were on our way out here for their anniversary dinner, at 5:30 in the afternoon on an unprotected railroad crossing. They were hit and killed,” Tammy Sadek said.
Nick, who was adopted, was seven years older than Andrew. The Sadeks explained that they’d tried conceiving children for “quite a while” before the birth of their son. They have no other children.
“It actually was a good age difference,” Tammy Sadek said. “It was more of a ‘big brother, protector’ thing.”
Beginning in 2004, the brothers worked with their father on building the family home. Built on the foundation of the home John Sadek grew up in, he, Tammy and Andrew moved into it in 2010.
“They both had good work ethics, worked as soon as they could,” John Sadek said. “They would help me around the farm and with the cattle. They weren’t afraid to work.”
In high school, Andrew took vocational technology classes, focusing on electrician work. Success in a state wiring competition earned him a scholarship to NDSCS, the Sadeks said. Along with summer electrician work, Andrew taught youth bowling on the weekends at Sky Lanes in Valley City, North Dakota, and enjoyed working with kids. In his memory, the Sadeks have sponsored a scholarship for youth bowlers.
Bowling and golf were the two sports that Andrew was mostly involved in.
“If he wasn’t going to be excelling at (a sport), than he wasn’t that interested in it. He wasn’t the biggest kid out there, so with football, as the other kids grew, he just didn’t enjoy it that much,” Tammy Sadek said.
Andrew also didn’t enjoy the party scene, she said, acting as designated driver for his friends. Because of previous family members who have served prison time for drug offences, the Sadek parents say they talked strongly with Andrew about drugs and alcohol. Both agree they never saw any evidence of him taking drugs or alcohol at home.
“I think we were stricter than most parents,” John Sadek said.
During Andrew’s time at NDSCS, he initially came home on weekends. By his sophomore year, he would come home once a month.
“We made this rule that he had to call every Sunday,” Tammy Sadek said. “He didn’t have a lot to say, he wasn’t a big talker. He didn’t need anything, was just checking in, really. When we needed him, he came.”
The weekend before Andrew’s disappearance, he helped John bring calves to pasture.
“We were busy all day,” John Sadek said. “It was work, but we both had a good time.”
The following Friday, the Sadeks were told Andrew was missing.
Two years later, Tammy Sadek is also devoting her energy to working with attorney Tatum O’Brien, Fargo, in getting bipartisan legislation in place “so nobody else has to go through this.”
“I’ve spoken with Matt Sander, who was on ‘60 Minutes,’” Tammy Sadek said. “He was down there, at the same time. He was in the welding program, and had the same charges, and he said no. And he only had a year of probation and the charges went off his record. I think that’s pretty invaluable that message gets out there.”
Now is an opportune time for parents, especially of youth going away to school, to talk about how nothing is as bad as entering into a situation without an attorney present, Tammy Sadek said.
“They always have that right,” she added. “Even though they’re 18, they’re not adults.”
Tammy Sadek also manages the Facebook page, “Justice for Andrew Sadek,” As of press time, the page has 5,410 “likes.”
“(Comments) are probably 99.9 percent positive,” she said. “Every now and then, there’s somebody that’s negative, but it’s very rarely. It’s encouraging and uplifting. Someday I think we’re going to have an answer, but I don’t know when.”