Police investigators in Tracy, California, said they found no trace of foul play in the death of Rod Strunk last July 11. Strunk was a suspect in the death of his wife, actress Nida Blanca on November 7, 2001.
According to gmanews.tv and QTV-11, Strunk sustained head injuries due to his fall from the second floor of Tracy Inn, a hotel in Tracy, California. Police at first suspected that the 68-year-old Strunk committed suicide.
The head injuries caused Strunk's brain to develop hemorrhage, according to the autopsy report. It also noted that the impact fracture caused Strunk's death. Strunk fell from the balcony of the hotel, about 20 feet above the ground.
Strunk had been eluding arrest from Philippine authorities for more than five years after the death of his wife.
Actress Nida Blanca, Dorothy Jones in real life, died last November 7, 2001. She was found inside her Nissan Sentra at the Atlanta Centre in San Juan, Metro Manila. Her body bore injuries and stab wounds.
In July 2002, Strunk was charged by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for masterminding the death of his wife. Strunk managed to evade Philippine authorities five months earlier, saying he wanted to look after his then ailing mother.
Strunk had brief singing career in the late ‘50s and ‘60s as Rod Lauren, and was an actor and artist in the U.S. His most recent work was as a camera operator for Tracy's public access station, Channel 26.
Strunk lived in the Philippines for more than 20 years. He married Nida Blanca in 1980.
The NBI investigation on Blanca's death depicted Strunk as a freeloader who ordered Blanca killed after she threatened to cut off him off her will.
On May 2003, U.S. federal agents acted on an extradition request from the Philippine government. They arrested Strunk and placed him in a county jail in Sacramento and awaited an expedition hearing.
At the hearing held last October 2003, Strunk's lawyer said that the primary suspect, Philip Bedel, pointed out Strunk as the mastermind. Bedel shortly recanted his testimony.
The Philippine prosecutors however failed to provide additional information contradicting the recantation. The U.S. judge denied the extradition in November 2003 and ordered Strunk released from jail.
With reports from gmanews.tv