The wife of Raymond Roth, the man accused of faking his own death by claiming to get sucked out to sea near Jones Beach over the weekend, fears for her life after receiving some cryptic text messages, supposedly from Roth, she said this morning.
Evana Roth, who alerted authorities that her husband was still alive after finding some emails he’d exchanged with his son detailing the faux-death scheme, held a press conference this morning, where she revealed the text messages she’s received from her husband since it was revealed that he’s not actually dead.
“I’m afraid he’s going to come after me because I’m the one who found out he is alive,” Evana Roth says of her husband. “This is a terrible nightmare that I want to wake up from.
“Everything he had, had to be bigger and better than anyone else but he didn’t have the money to do it. Faking his death is a horrific thing. I just can’t believe he’d do something like that. It’s like a horrible movie.”
Roth apparently found out about his wife’s plan to address the media.
“At least tell me why. What is going on?” Roth texted his wife this morning. “I just heard u [sic] have a press conference later. Be nice. Almost 15 years together.”
Roth initially told his wife he was at a bar in North Carolina this morning, but indicated that he actually was back in New York, and near the home the two share with Roth’s son from another marriage — the same son who allegedly helped his old man carry out the failed scam.
“The place looks a little crowded. I just drove by. Call me later,” Roth texted.
Evana says she received a bizarre phone call after telling police she’d discovered her husband is alive. She assumes it was Roth after he discovered she’d ratted him out.
“Raymond called me after his brother and I called the police,” she says. “First I asked who it was and he hung up. He called again and I said ‘who is this?'”
Roth said she heard him angrily say “you know who this is.”
“I just hung up the phone. I had nothing to say to him. I’m in fear of my life now,” she says.
Roth says she changed the locks on the doors and will seek orders of protection from her husband and stepson Jonathan.
Roth was reported missing by his son on Saturday afternoon, after the 22-year-old says he watched his father go into the ocean and never come out. The supposed drowning prompted a days-long air and sea rescue effort by authorities that cost taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars. Roth was found alive and well in Florida a few days later, and was stopped for speeding in South Carolina early yesterday morning.
It’s unclear whether Roth has spoken with police, or whether he’ll face any charges for the pricey scam.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 3, 2012