Discrepancies in SEMCA Review

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A Valley News Live investigation revealed a discrepancy in the relationship between SEMCA and college student Andrew Sadek. A review of the SEMCA drug case involving Sadek outlined how the Wahpteon college student became a criminal informant before his disappearance and death.

The review of SEMCA listed all but one Drug Task Force Board Member, the name of the very man who is supposed to be in charge of investigating the death of Andrew Sadek, NDSCS Police Sgt. Steve Helgeson. Numerous calls to the school and Campus Police Department for weeks have yielded little, so Valley News Live went to the college to try to talk with Sgt. Helgeson face to face.

“You have to go over to Haverty Hall and talk to the media gal,” said the lobby assistant.

“Talk to the media gal?” asked this Reporter.

“Yep, Barb Baum,” she answered.

“Sgt. Helgeson is sitting right there, why won’t he talk with me?”

“Because you have to go through our Media Department to talk with anybody.”

“We’ve tried numerous times and they just won’t put us in contact.”

“Any reason you won’t talk with us Sgt.?” asked the Reporter through the lobby window.

“Sorry?” answered Sgt. Helgeson.

“Any reason you won’t talk with us?” the Reporter asked again.

“You have to go through the PIO,” he answered.

“Sir! Please turn that off. Please turn that off,” said Helgeson noticing our camera.

“Talk to us!” said the Photojournalist.

“Answer my questions,” said the Reporter again.

Sgt. Helgeson gets up from behind his desk to the close his office door.

Sgt. Helgeson would not answer our questions.

The BCI confirms Helgeson has a seat on the Board and called it an oversight that his name wasn’t on the review.

Valley News Live also wanted to know, who was investigating Andrew Sadek’s death? A footnote on Page One of the SEMCA review stated the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is the Agency that has jurisdiction. When Valley News Live asked the BCA, they sent us a statement that said the lead agency was the NDSCS Campus Police Department. And campus officials reported the case was turned over to them shortly after Sadek’s body was found. The North Dakota Attorney General’s office and BCI in their report said it was a Minnesota BCA case. The BCA said that’s not true, they have nothing to do with it.

“The Andrew Sadek death investigation is being handled by campus police,” Barbara Spaeth-Baum, NDSCS Campus Spokesperson.

Campus Police said it’s their case, the BCI confirmed to Valley News Live that it’s a Campus Police case and the BCA was also pointing at the Campus Police. This gets back to the original question directed at Sgt. Steve Helgeson: why won’t you talk with us?

Andrew Sadek’s body was pulled from the Red River in June and an autopsy indicated he died from a gunshot wound to the head, but couldn’t determine if it was suicide or murder. Andrew Sadek’s mom continues to say that her son was murdered.