Suspect in 2001 Cold Case Murder to Undergo Trial - FOX 10 News |

Suspect in 2001 Cold Case Murder to Undergo Trial


Nearly 9 years later, a suspect has returned to Arizona to finally be tried in connection to the kidnapping and murder of a police informant in Phoenix.

Police say that Mikhail Drachev was part of a Russian crime cell plotting to steal a shipment of human growth hormone. One of the heist recruits turned on the cell and became a police informant -- which ultimately led to his murder.

21-year-old Konstantin Simberg went missing on Dec. 14, 2001. He was on the phone with an undercover Phoenix police detective when he was kidnapped -- his body found two days later in Fossil Creek, Ariz.

Cell phone records led detectives to three suspects -- Mikhail Drachev, Dennis Tskoukanov and Chris Andrews. Tskoukanov and Andrews were both tried and convicted for their role in the murder -- while Drachev has been on the run ever since.

In 2002, a grand jury arrest warrant was issued for Drachev, charging him with murder and kidnapping.

The case aired five times on America's Most Wanted, and Drachev was located three years ago in Toronto, Canada, living under an assumed identity. A woman he was dating found out about his past and called authorities.

When the Royal Canadian Mounted Police tried to take him into custody, he tried to rappel down a high-rise building using a rope. Drachev was caught and has been in Canadian police custody for the past three years fighting extradition.

Sunday, Canadian police escorted the 27-year-old back to the United States where he was turned over to Phoenix detectives assigned to the FBI Violent Gang Task Force.

Drachev was booked into the 4th Ave Jail for first degree murder and kidnapping and is being held on $2 million bond.

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