Federal Authorities Believe Missing Freeport Doctor Faked Own De - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Federal Authorities Believe Missing Freeport Doctor Faked Own Death

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Authorities are on the lookout for a Freeport Doctor awaiting a new trial.

Dr. Robert Ignasiak was sent to jail on 43 counts of health care fraud in 2009, but was released this year.

That man is now a missing person.

Ignasiak was set to appear on December 3rd in Pensacola for a new trial, but in a twist, went missing the month before.

Now, authorities seek justice from the man the feds believe has faked his own death.

For 20 years, "Dr Bob", as he was known to his patients, treated the sick at his Freeport Medical Clinic; but in 2008, shocking revelations would rock the small Panhandle town.

The courts concluded Ignasiak was guilty of dispensing highly addictive substances including Oxycodone, Morphine, and Hydrocodone.

The case would divide residents.

"I think it should be more the patient's liability than the doctors," said one resident in 2008.

"The doctor's responsible, he's the one that gives the drugs," said another in an earlier report from News 13.

But in January of this year, the US Court of Appeals overturned the case, freeing Ignaziak this may as he awaited a new trial.

Then, a twist came November 3rd, when his wife reported him missing.

"We received a call of a suspicious vehicle in the Seagrove area. When our deputies got there, there was a vehicle matching the description of what they thought the doctor might have been driving," said Walton County Sheriff's Office Investigator, Wendy Ammons.

The investigation would uncover seemingly clear evidence of suicide.

"In the vehicle, there were small amounts of blood or what appeared to be blood or what appeared to be blood at the time and a note...a suicide note," said Ammons.

The note suggested he would dive into the Gulf.

"By the time we found the note, we would find his body on shore," Ammons said, quoting Ignasiak.

But that never happened, leading the US Attorney's Office to believe it was faked.

"Outside the vehicle there was no blood, no blood could be found," added Ammons.

Meanwhile, Walton County is still treating this as a missing persons case.

News 13 contacted family members who referred us to their attorney, Clay Atkinson. He requested privacy for the family during this difficult time.