A couple that has learned a homicide victim is likely buried in the backyard of the north Kingman property they purchased in April decline comment about their misfortune. When asked, however, the husband confirmed their mix of emotions includes worry about their investment and stress associated with living on a burial ground.
The case investigation began when Richard Polaski, 63, Kingman, tried to take his life at a Laughlin casino motel room on July 9. The Mohave County Sheriff’s office said Polaski, while being treated at a hospital in Bullhead City for intentionally overdosing on Tylenol PM, confessed that he killed his friend John Holland, 65.
“Richard stated that during an argument with John at his residence he had stabbed him in the stomach several times until he died,” a court affidavit stated. “Richard then disposed of John’s body in a hole in his back yard located on Lass Avenue, then covered it with several feet of cement.”
Chief Deputy Sheriff Rodney Head said authorities have been slow to attempt to exhume Holland’s remains out of respect for the property owners who were out of town when the case unfolded. Head said it’ll be early September, if not sooner, before the excavation effort begins because authorities want to get the job done with minimal intrusion and disruption, and ensure that repairs are completed in timely fashion.
Meantime, detectives continue their investigation involving an alleged conspiracy to steal Holland’s considerable assets after the apparent July, 2015 homicide.
“Richard said that John had a significant amount of monies, upwards of a few million dollars, in a Merrill Lynch account which he gained access to by forging documents and obtaining power of attorney over John after his murder,” the court affidavit stated. It said that Polaski implicated a woman in helping to position himself to take control of the victim’s assets.
Polaski said that the woman assisted him in forging documents to obtain access to Holland’s money and transferring the deed of residence into his name, the affidavit said.
Mohave County Assessor’s Office records show that Polaski and Holland were co-listed on the deed to the Lass Avenue home but that the deed was transferred to Polaski in February, seven months after the homicide, and just two months before he sold the home to the current owners for $159,000, with a down payment of only $1,000.
The indictment alleges that the murder actually occurred at another Holland-owned property on Northern Avenue. Assessors records show the deed to that property was transferred to Polaski in March.
A search warrant return indicated that blood swabs were collected from the “office-bedroom” area of the Northern Avenue property.
Polaski told investigators that he provided a large sum of money to the woman and that she had about $78,000 in a safety deposit box at a Wells Fargo branch in Bullhead City, according to the affidavit. It said he met the woman’s brother where he worked as a bartender in Laughlin the day before the suicide attempt, leaving him a duffel bag full of documents used in the fraud scheme as well as some $38,000 in cash.
The affidavit said surveillance video from the casino where the woman’s brother worked confirmed their meeting and exchange of the duffel bag and envelopes containing the money.
Prosecutor Jonathan Taylor said no one else has yet been charged in the case that remains under investigation.
“There are a lot of areas that we still need to look into, including other people involved in the forgery investigation,” Head said.
Polaski is held in the county jail in Kingman, awaiting trial for first degree murder.
His attorney, Public Defender Robin Puchek, declined comment. An August 31 case management hearing is scheduled before Mohave County Superior Court Judge Lee Jantzen.