A man who owned a Phoenix construction company and who was awaiting sentencing on a federal tax evasion case has died after falling ill on a Disney cruise in somewhat mysterious circumstances.
Peter Mizioch, aged 75 was due to be sentenced in November having pled guilty to a tax charge involving fake payments to an insurance agent to the tune of $700,000. The judge allowed him to go on the Disney Caribbean cruise, from Florida to the Bahamas, prior to sentencing and returned his passport to him.
However Mizioch was still a subject of interest in the murder of his estranged wife back in 2010 in Phoenix and in addition he had also previously been investigated following the shooting of a business partner in 1979 and the murders of three other business associates in 1989, 1999 and 2005. Each one was shot and each one had a life insurance policy in which the only beneficiary was Mizioch. He received around $8 million from the policies.
He was not charged in any of the cases as it was ruled that just because so many people close to him had been murdered it was not sufficient to prove that he murdered them, and even though insurance companies tried to avoid paying the claims, they too failed.
According to the police, Mizioch suffered a stroke back on September 10 while on the cruise and was disembarked in the Bahamas and flown to a hospital in Fort Lauderdale where he died on September 13. However, on the cruise with him was a woman who said she was his daughter, and she produced a will as soon as he died, saying he had to be cremated immediately. Her passport said she was Theresa Anderson but no one had any knowledge of her or the fact that she was his daughter. In addition the death certificate says that Marilyn Rose Ortega was the family member who informed the death and states that she was his daughter.
The Phoenix investigators who still considered Mizioch as a person of interest in the death of his wife managed to stop the immediate cremation and arranged for fingerprints and a photograph of the body to be taken before the cremation took place. The police are still waiting for the hospital report but they say the fingerprints taken of the body match those of Mizioch in the federal database.
However, the police have no solid information on the time lines of Mizioch’s journey on the cruise ship, his transportation from the Bahamas and do not know if they are dealing with a natural death, a homicide or indeed a hoax.