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Family members accused of murder of Radocaj
By CHRIS KITCHING - Winnipeg Sun


Big John Radocaj in action. (NEW BRAND WRESTLING ARCHIVES)


RCMP have charged three members of a family with first-degree murder in the beating death of Interlake resident Ivan (John) Radocaj.

Radocaj, 43, was murdered last summer at his home in the Rural Municipality of Armstrong. The cause of death was blunt force trauma.

Radocaj's father, Josip, said yesterday he was happy to learn of the arrests. He did not want to talk at length.

RCMP said Winnipeg residents Donald Richard, 31, Daniel Richard, 23, and Timothy Richard, 20, are in custody.

The Criminal Code states a first-degree murder charge can be laid when a murder was planned and deliberate.

Daniel Richard has outstanding charges that include possession of an illegal drug for the purpose of trafficking.

Josip Radocaj and his son's widow, Melody Sanford, said they don't know the suspects. Sanford hung up on a reporter during a brief interview.

RCMP spokeswoman Sgt. Line Karpish said the suspects are related, but she would not say how.

Ivan Radocaj, once a professional wrestler in Manitoba, was found dead in his Komarno-area home Sept. 14. A court document states he was killed Sept. 12.

Before his death, Radocaj accused Sanford of threatening she could have him killed by the Indian Posse street gang, court documents state.

In a previous interview, Sanford denied making the threat during their brief but tumultuous marriage and said she had nothing to do with the murder.

She said she last saw Radocaj alive at a Teulon restaurant the evening of Sept. 12.

The pair was separated, but Sanford claimed they were trying to reconcile.

After the murder, Josip Radocaj filed an affidavit claiming his son feared for his life.

The affidavit stated Ivan Radocaj told his dad Sept. 12 that Sanford called "and asked to meet to settle matters."

Josip Radocaj said he urged his son not to go, the court document stated.

In a divorce affidavit filed Aug. 28, Ivan Radocaj accused Sanford of marrying him for his money.

The pair met four years ago, but the relationship turned romantic only after Ivan Radocaj received a $49,000 MPI settlement last April, the affidavit stated.