Authorities say Raymond Roth may not have even been at a Long Island N.Y., beach after conducting a five-day search by air and sea.
A Long Island man suspected of faking his own death has checked into a psychiatric hospital, according to Newsday.
Raymond Roth, 47, checked in to an unidentified hospital on Friday but is now being held involuntarily after doctors determined he was a danger to himself, according to the newspaper.
"He is in a psychiatric hospital because he has psychiatric problems. He is depressed and he is not rational," Roth's attorney, Brian Davis, was quoted as saying.
Roth's sudden disappearance last month resulted in a five-day search involving the U.S. Coast Guard and cost tens of thousands of dollars. Roth's 22-year-old son, Jonathan, told authorities his father had disappeared during a swim near Jones Beach on July 28.
The search was halted last week after Roth's brother told police Roth had called him from Florida. An officer in South Carolina who stopped Roth for speeding alerted police in New York after learning he was listed as a missing person.
Roth told the officer he had a fight with his wife and was on his way back home. In reality he had been staying in Orlando at a resort.
His wife, Evana, thought her husband had drowned. She found out Roth was still alive only after reading a series of emails between him and his son during his disappearance, according to media reports.
She described Roth's behavior leading up to his disappearance as bizarre. Besides putting his home up for sale, Roth had reportedly tripled his life insurance policy and withdrew money from her accounts. She said she was not sure who was named the beneficiary on the policy.
Davis said his client has been struggling with mental illness since the age of 7 when he was hit by a car. His condition only grew worse after losing his job as a computer manager, according to Davis.
Roth had been fired from his job after threatening to shoot two of his supervisors who had demoted him. In response to the threat, police confiscated Roth's .357 Magnum revolver and gun permit.
"That isn't what someone acting rationally would do," Davis told Newsday.
He said Roth began taking medication, including Prozac, that only furthered his irrationality.
"Instead of calming him and relieving his anxiety, it made him more intense and irate," Davis said.
Jonathan Roth was arrested earlier this week for conspiracy to commit insurance fraud and lying to police. He pleaded not guilty and is being held on $10,000 bond.
The criminal complaint alleges Jonathan conspired with his father to receive more than $50,000 in life insurance money.
Davis said he expects his client to be arrested soon and face charges similar to his son's.
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