From the outside, Constantine Theoharis was the picture of success. He had the job — the kind that afforded an attractive, indulgent lifestyle — the home, the look. Beneath the surface, though, his life was on the brink of chaos and collapse.
When Constantine’s family didn’t hear from him for a few days, it immediately raised some red flags. They contacted the police, and with some digging, they began to see there was a lot more to his silence than anyone suspected.
In 1998, Constantine nervously stood up at the altar in front of rows of smiling friends and family. He was finally marrying his longtime-girlfriend Stacy in south Florida, and they were both eager to begin this new chapter in their lives.
His job as a commercial real estate agent meant they had a beautiful home, the sounds of the waves and sandy beaches just steps from their back door. Soon, Stacy and Constantine added a few kids to the mix. Managing the changes in their relationship wasn’t easy.
Adjusting to married life with kids was a challenge, but it worked, for a while at least. As each anniversary passed, maintaining the magic of their relationship grew more difficult. Constantine and Stacy were no longer on the same page.
Nine years in, their differences were too much to work through. Constantine was struggling with substance abuse problems and it put an incredible strain on the marriage. Stacy had given it as many chances as she could before reaching her final limit.
They decided the best solution was to separate. Too much between them had changed for a reconciliation. They signed the divorce papers three days before the marking of their 9th anniversary, citing their split was “in consequence of disputes and irreconcilable differences.”
A judge awarded Stacy full custody of their kids. Constantine received visitation every other weekend and for the kids’ summer vacation. Court dismissed, and Constantine went home to a large house, that for the first time in years, would be frequently empty.
Despite his newfound bachelorhood, Constantine still had to maintain sobriety. Part of the custody agreement involved court-ordered random drug testing, four times per year, until 2010. If he fell off the wagon, his visitation with his children would be revoked. He stuck with it.
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But in August of 2014 the seamless co-parenting routine cracked. Stacy grew frustrated with Constantine’s priorities, spending huge amounts on keeping up appearances while neglecting what was the most important.
That month marked Constantine’s first late child support payment. Month after month, his payments grew later, and eventually, his checks stopped arriving at all. Naturally, Stacy wasn’t going to put up with her ex-husband’s not holding up his end of their divorce agreement.
Skipping out on child support payments had serious consequences. Constantine maintained a close bond with his family and expressed how deeply worried he was about not being able to catch up on the payments, and the looming consequences hanging over his head.
Fielding frantic calls from Constantine was a regular practice in the family and then suddenly all communication stopped. So, with his cousin’s words ringing in his ears, Chris Damian called the police to report Constantine missing on March 23rd, 2018.
Police made a welfare check at Constantine’s house. When they opened the door, they expected to see him turn around a corner, demanding an explanation for the cops roaming his house. Instead, everything looked perfectly normal, save for one glaring detail.
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Constantine wasn’t there, but his phone, wallet, and keys were out in plain view. If he’d premeditated his flight, he’d have at least packed a bag. None of the essentials were out of place. Then they entered the garage.
An avid paddleboarder, Constantine rarely missed a chance to take in the sunrise from out on the ocean waves. The police noted the paddleboard was gone, and that wasn’t all. His diving bag was emptied of its normal contents: fins, a mask, and a weighted belt.
The police filed an official report declaring Constantine missing. They scoured the surrounding areas for surveillance cameras, hoping to pinpoint when exactly he disappeared. In the well-to-do neighborhood, security cameras were a dime a dozen, so they were bound to get lucky.
They did. At 6:30 am on March 20th, Constantine was captured on camera carrying his paddle board and gear out into the shallows of the ocean. Nothing appeared wrong. He moved out of frame, and no one saw a trace of him again.
Immediately they began widespread searches of the nearby waters. Days passed, but the search for Constantine was coming up dry. Given his prowess at the sport, his family really doubted he could have suffered an accident. There were murmurs that the disappearance could be purposeful.
See, it looked like this case had a tragic, but logical ending: a man paddled out into the ocean, he drowned, and he was never heard from again. However, the police soon learned of another factor that wrenched a big hole in this theory.
The very afternoon of the day Constantine vanished, he was supposed to appear in court. It was the day he’d long agonized over; a judge was going to make a decision regarding his past-due child support, and he owed a huge amount of money.
Over $549,000, in fact. Stacy refused to back down, claiming that her ex husband’s lucrative job and indulgent lifestyle proved he was capable of making payments. He just refused to do so. On the day he went missing, Constantine was expected to leave the courtroom in handcuffs.
“He’s very capable on the paddle board so it seems pretty fishy to me,” Constantine’s younger brother Richard noted to the press. The family suggested that he’d somehow plotted an escape and was actually alive, just staging his disappearance to avoid jail.
His family hoped their appeals on the news would reach Constantine, wherever he was. “If he’s scared, we hope he will contact us. Make a phone call. Just let somebody know you’re safe so we can rest at night.”
“Right now, I’m like 50-50, either he fled or he’s out there drowned, I don’t know,” one family member said. The family would rather have Constantine back, alive, even if he went straight to jail. The news broadcasts aired, and there was still no sign of Constantine.
Without a body, or even a trace of his paddle board, the police couldn’t draw a conclusion on this case. Was he the victim of a tragic accident? Or had he achieved the impossibly difficult feat of faking his own death?
Whether Constantine met an early end, or just wanted to make it seem that way, remains to be seen. Unraveling the context of someone’s personal life can make the difference between accidents, lies, and in the case of one other man, murder.
It was the late 1990s, and young Australian astrophysicist Rodney Marks’s life and career were just beginning to blossom. Barely 30, he was assigned to work on the Antarctic Submillimeter Telescope and Remote Observatory in Antarctica—a life’s dream.
Not to mention, he was engaged to the love of his life, Sonja Wolter, who was stationed on the Antarctic base with him and working as a maintenance specialist. But just as life was looking up for the young couple, it all suddenly took a turn.
On May 11, 2000, Rodney began suffering from severe stomach pains, fever, and nausea. Tragically, within 36 hours, he was dead. Initially it was assumed that he’d died of natural causes. The murky circumstances, however, soon led people to suspect murder.
Because the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station was in Antarctica—one of the most remote places in the world—getting proper medical attention simply wasn’t an option. Flights had been canceled for the next several months due to inclement weather.
Since no flights were leaving Antarctica, Rodney’s body had to be stored in a freezer on-site for six whole months—a period of time that was likely detrimental to authorities looking for much-needed clues.
No one stationed at the base ever imagined something sinister could’ve been at play. After all, if he’d really been murdered, one of them had to have done it, which seemed unlikely. Besides, Rodney was well-liked and he didn’t have any known enemies there.
The National Science Foundation released a statement that claimed Rodney’s passing was due to natural causes thanks to a history involving years of alcohol abuse. But they were mistaken…
Six months later, when Rodney’s body was finally brought to Christchurch, New Zealand, to be properly examined, an autopsy discovered the horrific truth: someone had intentionally poisoned the astrophysicist with methanol.
Suddenly, everyone was in fear. A murder investigation began and other clues started to emerge. A series of needle marks on both of Rodney’s arms were discovered—yet there was no detection of any illegal drugs found in his system.
As people scrambled for answers, theories began to swirl. Some authorities believed an alcohol addiction, accompanied by the desolate Antarctic environment, drove Rodney to purposely ingest the methanol in an attempt to kill himself. His co-workers, however, weren’t buying it.
Other theories suspected that he’d accidentally dropped methanol in his liquor while attempting to distill it. Yet even that was strange: besides the fact that there was plenty of alcohol on base, Rodney was a scientist—and he’d have known that putting methanol in his beverage could be deadly.
That’s when authorities began investigating the source of the methanol. Quickly, they learned it was kept on base to be diluted and used to clean the work facility. Everyone stationed there had easy access to the supply.
Of course, this opened the door to the possibility that one of Rodney’s fellow scientists had purposely placed the methanol in his beverage. From that point forward, investigators began treating his death as a potential homicide case.
With only 49 people stationed at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, whittling down the possible suspects list wasn’t too daunting a task for the investigators. Or at least, that’s what they thought…
Eventually, authorities hit an unexpected roadblock in the form of the United States government. Unbeknownst to them, the Amundsen-Scott Station was located on a legally divided territory between New Zealand and the United States…
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The territory was owned by New Zealand, even though it was a U.S. base. When lead investigator and detective senior sergeant Grant Wormald from the New Zealand Police Department began questioning Rodney’s fellow scientists, only 13 of the 49 agreed to participate.
The impediments only grew when Detective Wormald asked the U.S. government for help. Seeking answers about the scientists and their criminal history, authorities refused to oblige, as they were conducting an investigation themselves…
Unfortunately, both sides of the investigation were too stubborn to share any information with one another, which, of course, led to problems in solving the case. Without cooperation on either end, the investigation quickly hit a standstill.
Meanwhile, as authorities continued to conduct their separate investigations into Rodney’s tragic demise, his family all but gave up hope. “I don’t think we are going to try to find out any more in regards to how Rodney died. I’d see that as a fruitless exercise,” his father said at the time.
To this day, Rodney’s tragic murder remains unsolved. It’s highly unlikely that anyone would be able to recover usable evidence to help aid in the investigation and bring justice to his family. Hopefully, however, a breakthrough comes one day.