|Elena Barykin, an aspiring Ukrainian singer, was the subject of an |
attempted kidnapping by David Sartin, a Texas man she met on
a website for mail-order brides. He said he sent her $57,000
before she broke off their engagement.
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When David Sartin found out he was duped by his mail-order bride, he started grooming her for death.
Authorities say Sartin contacted an undercover agent he believed was a hitman to get his would-be wife, Elena Barykina, out of the Ukraine and then ship her, in a crate, to his home in Texas.
His plan, according to KIAH-TV, was to stash Barykina in a fortified room he built in his trailer home and "get a good week out of her" before killing her with poison.
>Link Info : General Issues - Mail-Order Bride
Now he's going to spend the next few years in a jail cell -- not a honeymoon cottage. Earlier this week, he pleaded guilty to attempted kidnapping and brandishing a firearm in connection with the case, according to Fox News.
Sartin, 49, an unemployed man living in Hankamer, Texas, a suburb of Houston, met Barykina three years ago on a website that purportedly offered to introduce western men to gorgeous Russian brides.
The two struck up a friendship and Sartin flew to the Ukraine six times and sent more than $50,000 to help Barykina's singing career.
His only income was a disability check following two surgeries on his back, and a $400,000 divorce settlement from 2006 with another woman, the Houston Chronicle reported.
"I was 13 years older than him, and he played me for a fool," Betty Sartin, his ex and retired oil executive, told the paper. "Now he's met somebody a little smarter than him."
Things turned ugly last year when Sartin found out that Barykina -- who told him she wanted to save sex for marriage -- had a Russian boyfriend on the site. She then broke off the relationship in July, 2011.
He tried to report Barykina to InternetScamsWatch.com, and explained in a letter to the site that the situation made him consider suicide.
"I had no idea I was being scammed, as I believed in this girl with all of my heart and she knew this," he wrote. "This is a very cruel thing to do to a person. My first thought upon arriving back home was to put an end to myself, but I feared of not hitting the right spot and the pain would be bad."
Sartin then tried to make contacts with alleged gangsters, who were actually undercover agents working for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. He agreed to pay $50,000 to have Barykina kidnapped, crammed into a crate and shipped over from the Ukraine as a "package."
He paid $25,000 in advance before being arrested.
His father, 73-year-old Cecil Sartin, said he tried to warn his son about the relationship, but admitted "she was prettier and could talk sweeter than me," the Daily Mail reported.
Amazingly, Sartin Sr. said his son thought the kidnapping was just a minor road block in his relationship with Barykina.
"In the back of his heart, I think he was still hoping they might have a life together," he said.