Raymond Roth, the Massapequa man feared drowned before turning up alive in Florida last week, is in a Long Island psychiatric hospital and is expected to turn himself in to police once he’s released, his lawyer told the Press.
Roth’s Garden City-based attorney, Brian Davis, said he expects his client to be charged once he surrenders to police. But authorities haven’t revealed their plans to charge Roth, even though he appeared in a criminal complaint along with his son, Jonathan, who was arrested this week for allegedly helping fake his father’s death, so Roth could obtain more than $50,000 from his life insurance.
Both the Nassau County District Attorney’s office and New York State Parks police declined to comment, citing the ongoing investigation.
Davis wouldn’t say where his client was being treated. But he did say that Roth has some “significant psychiatric issues,” which he is being treated for.
“Everything fell on him,” Davis said. “The loss of employment and he was already under treatment [for depression], and this was kind of like a triggering event. This is like an escape from the pressures of everyday life.”
“He was suffering,” he added, “and this is escape to get away from it all.”
Davis said Roth was on medication for depression but the treatment wasn’t effective.
“Instead of calming him it was making him much more nervous and irate,” he said.
Roth was first reported missing by his son on July 28 at Jones Beach field 6, authorities said. A massive search ensued, but it was halted once police learned that Roth was in Florida, where he was vacationing at a resort, his wife said last week.
The bizarre story took another strange turn when Roth was pulled over for speeding in South Carolina while he was driving back north. Roth even called State Parks police Captain Bruce Marx to tell him he was returning to Long Island and would talk to police about his mysterious disappearance. But he never did.
Last Friday, Roth’s wife, Evana, held a press conference to hand out emails suggesting Roth may have faked his death. She also said he emptied out her bank accounts. She is reportedly filing for a divorce.
“Everything was done so spontaneously and impulsively,” Roth’s attorney said. “He certainly wasn’t acting rational, and the person I saw at the hospital certainly wasn’t rational.”
Before his disappearance, Roth lost his job at Level 3 Communications, put his house up for sale and sold off some of his clothes.
Jonathan Roth pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to charges of insurance fraud, conspiracy, falsely reporting an incident and making a punishable false written statement.
The case has been adjourned until Tuesday.