An American fugitive who allegedly faked his death to avoid prosecution has been found alive, albeit on a ventilator after contracting COVID-19, in Scotland.
Nicholas Rossi faced fraud and sexual assault charges in Utah and Ohio when he fled the country and faked his death, according to officials. He has most recently been calling himself Nicholas Alahverdian.
"He was located in Scotland about a month ago, where he was on a ventilator," Rhode Island State Police Maj. Robert A. Creamer told The Providence Journal. The outlet reports that he was hospitalized with COVID-19.
He was then identified through photo evidence, according to a press release from the Utah County Attorney's office in Utah.
"In 2017, as part of the Sex Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) the original sexual assault kit was submitted for testing, and in 2018 the DNA profile from the Utah sexual assault came back as a match to a sexual assault case in Ohio. The suspect, in that case, was Nicholas Rossi," the press release states.
They allege that he is a "suspect in a number of similar offenses in Utah and throughout the United States after the 2008 incident." The Providence Journal also reports that Alahverdian faced fraud and extortion complaints for allegedly opening multiple credit cards and loans in the name of his former foster mother's husband and racking up around $200K in bills.
A 2020 obituary written about him while he was using the name Alahverdian, claimed that the Rhode Island native died at age 32 after "going public with his diagnosis of non-Hodgkin lymphoma." It stated that his wife and two children were with him when he died.
"Mr. Alahverdian was a devout Roman Catholic," reads the obituary. "In keeping with Mr. Alahverdian's wishes, his earthly remains were cremated with his ashes scattered at sea."
The Utah County Attorney’s Office is currently working with federal and international agencies to extradite Rossi back to Utah. It’s not clear if he has an attorney.
Investigators feel that Rossi could have other alleged victims and they are encouraging anyone who may be to reach out to SAKI Agents with the State Bureau of Investigation at (801) 965-4747, or the Utah County Attorney’s Office at (801) 851-8026.