Raymond Roth, "Missing" Jones Beach Swimmer, Faked Death To Get Away From Wife
Of all the ways to get away from your bride, faking your own death by supposedly drowning off the coast of Long Island is certainly amongst the most epic -- and it's exactly what a Massapequa man did over the weekend, according to his wife, anyway.
As we reported yesterday, Raymond Roth's son reported on Saturday that his father had gone into the ocean at Jones Beach on Saturday afternoon. He told authorities he never saw him come out, which prompted a days-long air and sea rescue effort by authorities that cost taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars.
Roth, 47, it turned out, was alive and well and hanging out in Florida.
Now, his wife, Evana Roth, says it was all a hoax so he could get away from her and collect a life insurance payout.
Evana Roth is scheduled to hold a press conference later today, but shared her theory with the New York Post.
"This is a terrible nightmare that I just want to wake up from,'' Evana Roth told the paper. "Why did he do this? I think I'm just numb.''
Evana Roth says she believed her husband had drown until she found emails he'd sent to his son -- her step-son -- which indicated that tale of his death was nothing but a hoax.
"I need to get to the bank for cash for the trip," Roth wrote in one of the emails.
He went on to say "about the jewelry we spoke of yesterday, you need to whisper in [a relative's] ear about it and do not worry she will get it," and, "tell [another relative] i handed you the papers -- then you JUST noticed that there was an envelope with [his] name on it (the last Will and Testemnet [sic]) then hand it to him."
Roth had recently lost his job as a computer manager at Level 3 Communications after threatening to shoot two of his superiors. Last week, he put his Massapequa house up for sale.
"DO NOT allow that a--hole to give the house away," Roth wrote in another email to his son, his wife, presumably, is the "a-hole."
Evana Roth says her husband started acting strange in January, when he tripled his life insurance policy. She says he even revised his will just days before supposedly drowning off the coast of Long Island.
"On the day he went to the beach, he told me he was going to his mother's house," she tells the Post.
"I said, 'How long are you going to be? Are you going to be home for dinner?' He said, 'I'll be home in an hour,' " she said.
After finding the emails, Evana called Roth's brother, who directed authorities to an address in Orlando. Roth, however, was already gone.
About 3:30 a.m. yesterday -- after authorities had spent days scouring the sea -- Roth was stopped for speeding in Santee, South Carolina, after police clocked him doing about 90 miles per hour.
When the officer who stopped him checked his driver's license, it was revealed that Roth was listed as a missing person, so he contacted the New York State Police.
Roth hasn't been charged with any crimes in his supposed disappearance, but criminal charges are likely on the horizon for the alleged hoaxster.
"While I was crying and thinking he had drowned, he was vacationing in a resort and having a drink in the pool," Evana Roth tells the Post.
Evana, as we mentioned, is holding a press conference later today. Check back for updates.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.