A Florida suspect of attempted murder who is now living in Canada has been declared legally dead.
Alex Varga has found himself at the heart extremely curious insurance news headlines in a Florida case in which he was the suspect in a shooting, but where he fled the country until finally making his way to Canada, where he has discovered that his wife – still in Florida – had declared him dead in order to collect on his life policy.
Varga will now likely never be tried for the shooting as he is no longer officially considered to be alive.
The insurance news story began in 2006, in the Tampa area of Florida, where Varga was living with his wife, Carmen, and his family. He was working as a renovator and plumber. An altercation started between himself and Keith Pryor, a garage owner who had been hired to paint Varga’s 1969 Ford XL. Varga was not satisfied with the work and the discussion became violent. Varga explained that “It was a heated situation, and like I said, it should never have happened.”
This insurance news exploded from that point, as the story swiftly lost control.
Pryor was shot four times in his abdomen and groin area. He called 911 and then his wife and was reached in time to be saved. Pryor told the police detectives in Tampa who were investigating the case that it was Varga who had shot him. Varga has since claimed that Pryor attacked him first and that it was a case of self defense.
That said, Varga didn’t wait around for the police. He fled the scene and eventually left the country, making his way to his birth country of Hungary, where some of his family still lived. He explained that the police had filed charges for armed trespassing and attempted murder, and that warrants were issued for his arrest and that alerts were released to watch for him. Though he maintains that he was defending himself, he did not trust U.S. justice, particularly when he received a quote from a lawyer for a $40,000 fee to take the case without any guarantees. The lawyer also cautioned that the Pryor family may file a civil court suit. Varga explained “I wanted to protect my family 100 per cent, you know?”
The next few years saw Pryor unable to work due to the pain from his injuries, and his eventual suicide from having lost his business and his home, and from being tormented by Varga’s escape. Varga was an international fugitive for six years and claims that he is the victim in this case.
Now, the insurance news has grown as he has made his way to Edmonton, Alberta in Canada, where he is very alive, despite the fact that he alleges that his wife, Carmen – who is a Hillsborough County, Florida deputy sheriff – has attempted to defraud him, the Canadian government, and a Canadian insurer, by declaring him legally dead. Though the declaration of his death has caused all charges against him to be dropped, it has stopped him from being able to make a fresh start.
Carmen had filed a missing person’s report a few weeks after the 2006 disappearance of Varga. Though he claims that they had communicated indirectly through a third party, he never communicated with her directly over six years (even when their son died), and cannot provide proof that she was indeed aware that he was alive. Five years after filing the missing person’s report, she went to a Florida court to have him declared legally dead, making the current insurance news headlines as she has now also tried to claim on a half million dollar life policy from Manulife Financial.