Man who fled the US after false death found in Scotland with Covid

A Rhode Island man who allegedly faked his death and fled the US to escape prosecution in Utah and other states has been arrested in Scotland after being admitted to hospital with Covid-19, authorities said.

icholas Alahverdian was discovered after developing a serious case of coronavirus and was placed on a ventilator at a hospital in Glasgow, Rhode Island State Police Major Robert Creamer told The Providence Journal.

Alahverdian, 34, who has been a vocal critic of Rhode Island’s child welfare system in recent years, is now being extradited to the U.S. to face charges of first-degree rape in Utah.

Legal documents released on Thursday show that Alahverdian met a 21-year-old woman on MySpace in 2008, while living in Orem, Utah, and went by the name Nicholas Rossi, reports WPRI-TV.

The woman said she ended the relationship, but that Alahverdian owed her money, promised to pay her back and instead sexually abused her in his apartment.

Utah County Attorney David Leavitt’s office said the collection of DNA evidence at this time was not checked until 2017 as part of a state effort to test overdue rape kits.

Utah’s evidence eventually came back as an agreement with a case of sexual assault in Ohio.

“Investigators also learned that Nicholas Rossi had fled the country to prevent prosecution in Ohio and tried to lead investigators and state lawmakers in other states to believe he was dead,” Mr Leavitt’s office said in a statement.

“Mr Rossi was discovered to be living under an adopted name in Scotland.”

Rhode Island State Police have also said he was wanted in that state for not registering as a sex offender, while the FBI said he was also wanted in his home state of Ohio on charges that he took out credit cards in the name of his crime and accumulated more than $ 200,000 in debt.

It is not clear whether Alahverdian has a lawyer; An e-mail seeking comment was sent to the Alahverdian Family Office, which in 2020 had sent a notice about his funeral and memorial service at a church in Providence, Rhode Island.

Alahverdian was for many years an outspoken critic of Rhode Island’s Department of Children, Youth, and Families, and testified before state lawmakers about sexual abuse and torture while in foster care.

In 2020, he told local media that he had a late-stage non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and had weeks to live, The Journal reported.

An online obituary published claimed he died on February 29, 2020, but last year the Rhode Island State Police, Alahverdian’s former attorney and former foster family publicly asked if he really died.

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