Rhode Island Man Who Faked His Death Found Alive in Scotland: Police

A Rhode Island man who police believe faked his own death after being named as a suspect in a sexual assault case has been found alive in Scotland, according to reports.

Nicholas Alahverdian had allegedly been on the run since 2020, when his wife said he had died of cancer at the age of 32 while he was overseas, according to The Providence Journal.

But Rhode Island State Police Major Robert Creamer told the outlet they had found Alahverdian alive in a Scottish hospital where he was on a ventilator after contracting COVID-19.

Utah officials had notified Rhode Island officials earlier this week that Alahverdian had been found and was linked to a 2018 sexual assault case that had happened in the Beehive State.

According to a Utah Department of Public Safety (DPS) news release, Alahverdian, under the name Nicholas Rossi, was found to be a match to a 2008 sexual assault case in Ohio.

Alahverdian was convicted of two sexual assaults on a student at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio, according to The Providence Journal.

But the evidence in the case was not uploaded to the DNA database until 2017, which would go on to result in a wider investigation.

The DPS said it was later uncovered that Alahverdian had been a suspect in a number of offenses across the U.S. following the 2008 sexual assault case.

In a Wednesday statement, the DPS said: "Investigators also learned that Nicholas Rossi had fled the country to avoid prosecution in Ohio and attempted to lead investigators and state legislators in other states to believe that he was deceased.

"Through the diligent efforts of SBI [State Bureau of Investigation], and various investigators in other states and agencies and in cooperation with the Utah County Attorney's Office, Mr. Rossi was discovered to be living under an assumed name in Scotland.

"He has been taken into custody and the Utah County Attorney's Office is working with federal and international agencies to extradite Mr. Rossi back to Utah."

Utah County Attorney David Leavitt added: "Our office is grateful for the significant interagency collaboration of law enforcement to bring this suspect to justice.

"We credit Utah's Sexual Assault Kit Initiative [SAKI] grant funded through the Department of Justice and the Bureau of Justice Assistance as playing a significant role in testing backlogged kits and ultimately identifying the suspect."

Anyone who suspects they may be a victim of a crime by Mr. Rossi/Alahverdian is encouraged to reach out to SAKI agents with the SBI on (801) 965-4747, or the Utah Attorney's Office on (801) 851-8026.

Previously, Alahverdian had been openly critical of Rhode Island's child welfare system and alleged he was "tortured and raped" in group homes that were affiliated with the Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth and Families, according to CBS and MyNetworkTv affiliate WPRI.

Alahverdian had filed a federal lawsuit in 2011 and alleged he was sexually assaulted by group home employees and residents and that he had been moved around several locations in Rhode Island, Florida and Nebraska, the network reported.

The lawsuit was ultimately settled in 2013, but the details of the case were not made public.

Newsweek has contacted the DPS for comment.

In 2021, a wanted fugitive who police said faked his own death in an attempt to evade arrest was apprehended.

Christopher Tomberlin stands accused of attempted murder in Bibb County, Georgia, in 2015.

Specialists from the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) sexual assault hotline are available 24/7 via phone (1 (800) 656-4673) and online chat. Additional support from the group is also accessible via the mobile app.

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Stock image of a police officer and a police car. Nicholas Alahverdian is wanted in connection to sexual assaults in Ohio and Utah. Getty Images