(NEW YORK) — The son of a Massapequa, N.Y., man who was reported missing in waters off a Long Island beach and turned up five days later in South Carolina has been arrested.
Jonathan Roth, 22, was arrested by the New York State Park Police “in connection with the alleged submersion of his father,” State Police said in a news release. Authorities would not comment any further on the arrest.
Evana Roth alerted authorities that her husband Raymond Roth, 47, was still alive after she found emails he’d exchanged with his son saying his disappearance was an act.
Jonathan Roth had previously said he did not help his father with the plan and told the New York Post that his father wanted to kill him, telling him so in a voicemail.
Leonard Leeds, Evana Roth’s attorney, said the email correspondence between Raymond Roth and his son proved that Jonathan, who is Evana’s stepson, was in on the alleged plot. Jonathan said he never saw any emails from his father and believes his dad is angry that his son foiled his scheme.
“She [Evana Roth] believes Jonathan knew about this,” said Leeds. “Jonathan was at the beach, called her, said dad has drowned, all of his personal belongings were there. So she just thinks it was not credible.”
Evana Roth has asked a court to protect her from her husband, saying she fears he might try to kill her.
“I was planning a funeral for him,” she said, during a news conference at her lawyer’s office on Aug. 3. In that meeting with reporters, she revealed text messages, emails and voice mails in which she said her husband had outlined an elaborate plan to fake his own death.
Leeds said Raymond Roth had allegedly taken out extra life insurance and removed his wife as executor of his will months earlier, which led her to believe he had had been planning to stage his own death.
“Our goal is really to get her protection, make sure that she’s not in any imminent danger,” said Leeds. “We plan to go into court to get a stay-away order.”
Raymond Roth was reported missing on July 28 after he allegedly went swimming at Jones Beach. Roth’s son called 911 to tell police that his father had gone into the water at Jones Beach’s Field 6 and had not returned.
It wasn’t until Aug. 2 that Roth was found in South Carolina after he’d spent time in a resort in Orlando, Fla. Detective Sgt. Thomas Duignan of the New York State Park Police said Roth had been stopped by an officer on I-95 for speeding.
“The officer ran his license and noticed that he was listed as a missing person and contacted us,” he said. “He told the officer he was on his way back to New York.”
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Ray Sanchez, CNN
Stephanie Elam, CNN
Ivaylo Vezenkov and Lauren del Valle, CNN