PHOENIX -- A 27-year-old man has finally been extradited to Arizona to face charges in the killing a Phoenix Police informant in 2001 at Fossil Creek, south of Camp Verde.
The bizarre murder revolves around a Russian-speaking gang theft of human growth hormone worth $3 million. Two accomplices have already been convicted in the murder of Konstantin Simberg, 21.
Simberg reportedly was talking on the phone with his Phoenix police contact when he was abducted. The detective, who was taking another call, only heard Simberg's scream before the line went dead.
Policed traced the final call to a phone owned by an ASU freshman student, Chris Andrews, and a search of Andrews' apartment linked him to the murder of Simberg and to two Russians, Dennis Tskoukanov and Mikhail Drachev. Police found brass knuckles and duct tape in the apartment.
Simberg's body had been taken to Fossil Creek campground where he was stabbed, soaked in an accelerant, and set on fire, police said.
Thought to be dead, the body was covered in rocks, but Simberg, bleeding and burned, crawled from under the rocks and into the creek where he floated until he died.
Dennis Tskoukanov and Chris Andrews were prosecuted and convicted, but Mikhail Drachev fled to Canada where he was living under an assumed name.
It was when he became engaged and revealed his true name to his fiancé that she discovered he was listed on America's Most Wanted and called police.
Drachev, now in Phoenix, has been fighting extradition for three years.