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Son of Shark Victim Found Dead

September 11, 2000

ST. PETE BEACH, Fla. (AP) _ One of five sons of a man killed by a shark last month was found dead of an apparent drug overdose, his family said.

Richard Kubinski, 44, was found by relatives Saturday at his condominium. His 69-year-old father, Thadeus, was attacked while swimming behind his home on the Intracoastal Waterway on Aug. 30. It was the fifth fatal shark attack in Florida waters in 25 years.

``I think it was a bit of a catalyst, but he’s had a lot of problems with substance abuse,″ Joseph Kubinski said of his brother Richard. ``He was basically following a well-worn path in terms of whenever he’s going through stress or whatever, he turns to narcotics.″

The medical examiner’s office said an autopsy was pending. Toxicology reports will not be available for several weeks.

Kubinski said his brother feared how his father’s loss would affect his mother, Anna Kubinski. He stayed at her home the day after the attack, handling phone calls from well-wishers and fielding inquiries from reporters.

``I’m scared for my mom,″ Richard Kubinski told his brother the day after his father’s death. ``She said, ‘Why didn’t the shark take us both?’ I said, ’Mom, you can’t talk like that.‴

Joseph Kubinski said his mother also was worried about Richard. Her concern prompted her to ask Joseph to go to Richard’s condominium to check on him. She was present when a building superintendent opened the door and found her son’s body.

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