A Rhode Island man who faked his own death to evade sex assault and fraud charges has been found alive in Scotland, reports said.
Nicholas Alahverdian, who also goes by the last name Rossi, supposedly died at age 32 in February 2020 from non-Hodgkin lymphoma but turned up last month at a Glasgow hospital where he was on a ventilator for COVID-19, the Providence Journal reported Wednesday.
Hospital staffers only learned that Alahverdian, who was living under the name Arthur Knight, was a wanted by Interpol when authorities turned up last month at the infirmary and arrested him, the Scottish Sun reported.
The fugitive was on the run from criminal charges in Utah and Ohio, and faked his death so he could avoid prosecution, the Utah County Attorney’s Office told the Providence Journal.
“He has been taken into custody and the Utah County Attorney’s Office is working with federal and international agencies to extradite Mr. Rossi back to Utah,” the agency said in a statement.
Alahverdian is suspected in a number of sexual assault cases in Utah and throughout the US and is also accused of bilking $200,000 from his former foster mother in Ohio and $60,000 from Kathryn Heckendorn, his ex-wife, the Providence Journal reported.
Weeks before his “death” in February 2020, Alahverdian urged local Rhode Island reporters to write about his impending demise, asserting that his work crusading against the child welfare system made it newsworthy, the outlet said.
When the journalists failed to write about it, he grew angry, the outlet said.
An obituary written about Alahverdian’s “death” called him a “warrior” for children and stated his last words were “fear not and run toward the bliss of the sun.”
A person who claimed to be his wife asked lawmakers to participate in elaborate memorials of his life but the plans were squashed when word spread that Alahverdian was potentially still alive.
“At first I didn’t believe it,” Heckendorn told the outlet of the moment a Utah public safety official called to tell her Alahverdian had been captured.
“I said this has to be Nick; he probably hired someone to get in touch with me to scope out the situation, because that’s the very special kind of deception he would do.”
Alahverdian is facing extradition proceedings in the UK, but It’s unclear when will be brought back stateside.