Rarely do couples divorce on impulse. When two people agree to wed until death parts them, it’s likely they will try to work through adversity. However, couples may divorce quickly if infidelity occurs. After the suicide of Elizabeth Siudara, authorities began to investigate her husband’s role in the matter. He filed for divorce the day before she died and may have triggered the events leading to her death. Nearly two years later, an arraignment has been scheduled.
Husband and Doctor
Dr. and Mrs. Siudara married in 1984 in Ontario. Elizabeth Siudara was her husband’s office assistant for 35 years, according to her obituary. Dr. Siudara was licensed in the fields of osteopathic medicine and surgery, and had the ability to write prescriptions.
Mrs. Siudara first attempted to kill herself with an overdose of medications in 2013. She took five days worth of pills her husband had given her. She was unsuccessful in ending her life. However, her second attempt in 2014 led to her death. In that instance she took a six-day allotment of pills that had been left out. Court documents say that the fatal concoction consisted of Xanex, Vicodin, and Ambien. She died at a hospital in Petoskey, Michigan, about three hours north of Grand Rapids.
The case is being tried Up North in Cheboygan, where Dr. Siudara has his medical practice. The court showed that Dr. Siudara had signed divorce papers the day before Elizabeth committed suicide. Investigators say that he didn’t immediately call the police once he discovered the pills he’d left Elizabeth were missing. Instead he went on vacation with his mistress. The next day Elizabeth was dead.
Dr. Siudara’s Arraignment
It took the state two years to compile evidence against Dr. Siudara. However, the evidence they found has led to an arrest on charges of secondhand murder and unintentional manslaughter. Investigators found it alarming that a doctor would leave such a large amount of pills around someone who had attempted suicide. Cheboygan County Prosecutor Daryl Vizina described Dr. Siudara’s actions as “grossly negligent.” Vizina went on to say that Dr. Siudara “was prescribing the pills in a wanton and willful disregard for Elizabeth Siudara’s well-being.”
Dr. Siudara chose to have his brother represent him temporarily. His brother requested that bond be set low. However, Viziana requested that the bail be set high due to Dr. Siudara’s resources and the nature of the case. Dr. Siudara’s bail was set at $500,000 to avoid Dr. Siudara skipping out on bail. The terms of his release included him wearing a tracking device as well.
Divorce And Suicide
There have been other stories in West Michigan that involve suicide and divorce. Last November Timothy Arnold committed what authorities called “suicide-by-cop” after his wife finalized their divorce. The end of a marriage can be extremely emotional, especially for the one who is not initiating the separation. In Arnold’s case, he seemed to be fine on the day of his death. Before taking her life, Elizabeth Siudara had displayed behaviors that could have been seen as warning signs. Sensitivity to a former spouse’s feelings can be crucial during such a volatile time. In some cases, that sensitivity could save someone’s life.
Agar, J. (2016, Mar. 18). Doctor Accused Of Killing Wife With Prescription Drugs. MLive. Retrieved on Mar. 22, 2016, from http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2016/03/doctor_accused_of_killing_wife.html
Roznowski, B. (2016, Mar. 22). Cheboygan Doctor Charged For Murder, Prescribed Medication in Overdose. 9 & 10 News. Retrieved on Mar. 22, 2016, from http://www.9and10news.com/story/31514140/cheboygan-doctor-charged-for-murder-prescribed-medication-in-overdose
(2016, Mar. 18). Doctor Charged With Second Degree Murder In Wife’s 2014 Death. Up North Live. Retrieved on Mar. 22, 2016, from http://upnorthlive.com/news/local/police-cheboygan-county-man-arrested-in-wifes-2014-death