TALLAHASSEE, FL – Samira Frasch’s body was found by a maintenance man on February 22, 2104, at the bottom of the family swimming pool, her wig askew and her face bearing a fresh wound from a blunt object.
The 38-year-old Samira was in the middle of an acrimonious divorce with her husband, Adam Frasch, a local podiatrist whose life was a roulette wheel of drama. He had six children by four women, and a search warrant notes he had four possible girlfriends at the time of Samira’s death.
Eight months after Samira’s death, Adam was charged with her murder. This week, his trial began. Clad in an electric blue suit, the jowly, six foot three, 250 pound Frasch began the fight for his life.
He’s no longer practicing medicine, has divested of many of his assets, including a home and several luxury cars, and is also the target of a Medicare fraud investigation.
He insists he is not guilty and called the case an “indictment of an innocent man” in a public letter to the people of Tallahassee.
Samira and Adam lived a boutique life that included three fine homes, a collection of luxury cars, and $4,000 shopping sprees. They had two daughters in the four years they were together — Hyrah, two at the time of Samira’s death, and Skynaah, one.
The couple’s relationship was at the same time a volatile stew of deception and acrimony. She was alleged to have several dalliances, and between the time of their 2009 Las Vegas wedding and her move to Tallahassee, Adam fathered a child with someone else.
Samira pleaded no contest to charges of domestic battery and disorderly conduct after an argument with Adam in an Orlando hotel room in May 2010.
Friends told investigators stories of each party attempting to run each other off the road during the fractious divorce, and Samira moved out of the house for a while before the court gave her custody of the home.
Samira was arrested in August on charges of domestic battery in Leon County for assaulting her husband. The charges were later dropped. She filed for a divorce in September.
Text messages to Samira from Adam indicate his wish to reconcile and noted that if they divorced, she would have to return to Europe. “I’m destroyed without hope of getting you back and I don’t want you to go to jail again,” Frasch messaged Samira on September 21, 2013. He noted that if he were to press charges, “you will lose your resident status and upon sentences completed you will deported [permanently].”
Samira met Adam in Paris during Fashion Week in 2006. She told him she was modeling for Ford Models, although Ford Models didn’t launch its Paris office until December 2013. She also claimed she had studied at the University of Paris-Sud, known for its math studies. The Paris university would not confirm her attendance there.
But Samira, a native of Madagascar, was willing to turn whatever her life was upside down and move to a small Florida town, wooed by Frasch’s manner.
“Adam is a charming guy, he is very successful with women,” said Mark Becker who represented Adam in negotiations following a previous divorce.
THE AMERICAN DREAM
She came to live in the 5,000-square foot, $500,000 home in a gated community, and jammed it with artifacts and furniture. The dwelling was indecorously filled with goods from all over the world, from vases and art to luxurious rugs and glassware.
The Frasch garage was a parking lot of luxury cars, including a Ferrari and a Range Rover. An older model Mercedes sat in the driveway, as well as a new, shiny red three-wheeler.
At another more modest home several miles away Adam kept four more vehicles in the driveway, including an older Lexus and a Pontiac G6 sedan, with customized metallic-orange rims and matching paint. “He has around 17 cars,” Becker said.
It was no doubt the life of luxury, blessed by two children, a prospering medical practice, and a flurry of exotic travel. Samira appeared to realize her good fortune; tattooed just above her pubic region were the words “Frasch Love.”
Adam Frasch was arrested the day Samira’s body was found outside a home the couple kept in Panama City. He was loading their two children into a rented SUV, and he was charged with attempted interference with child custody. In an interview with law enforcement, Frasch waived his Miranda rights and told officers “he hoped Samira had not set him up.” Frasch also said that Samira often flirted with the maintenance man who had found her body, Gerald Gardner, in an attempt to make him jealous, which has become a part of his defense.
Frasch has speculated that Gardner could have been responsible for the murder. The timing of the discovery of the body – 11 A.M. on a Saturday – allowed defense attorney Clyde Taylor to speculate on how long the body had been in the pool. No wrinkling of the fingers, Taylor noted during testimony on Monday, which is significant as witness accounts show Adam leaving the house around 8 A.M. that morning. No rigor mortis, either, which is worth considering as the body was alleged to have been in the 58-degree water at least three hours.
Under an agreement that would spare him the death penalty if he is convicted, Frasch will be tried in front of a six-person jury rather than the usual 12. The panel includes a technology worker, a state worker, and a retired Army sergeant.
Frasch has been free on $250,000 bond since November 2015, tethered, without a passport, and staying with his father in Tallahassee. The couple’s two children are living with Frasch’s brother in Nebraska.
“I have been maligned in the press, characterized as an incompetent person, separated from my children…” Frasch said in his public letter. “I did not murder the mother of my two babies.”
Testimony continues this week.
Main photo: Map of Leon County, Florida [Wikimedia Commons]