Nicholas Alahverdian was found in Scotland. The Rhode Island man faked his own death in 2020 to avoid sexual assault and fraud charges in multiple states. Police tracked him down to the Queen Elizabeth Glasgow Hospital where he was suffering from Covid-19. Officers are working to bring him back to the United States.
It is unclear what led to Alahverdian in Scotland. The Rhode Island man was found at the hospital on Dec. 13 and, according to reports, he almost died from Covid-19 and was attached to a ventilator.
Police say that Alahverdian is facing multiple charges of sexual assault in Utah and other states across the United States. Police were able to use DNA to link the Rhode Island man to a 2018 sexual assault case in Utah, and then other cases going back as far as 2008. He was also convicted of two sex related crimes in Ohio that year.
The 34-year-old is also accused of extortion and two counts of fraud. Police believe he stole $200,000 from his former foster mom and $60,000 from his ex-wife, Kathryn Heckendorn.
The Utah County District Attorney’s office said that Nicholas Alahverdian fled the country to avoid his charges and used an elaborate ruse to make police believe he had died.
The Rhode Island man also goes by the alias “Nicholas Rossi,” and “Arthur Knight,” while in Scotland. Officials believe he used over eight different aliases while on the run.
“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,” the Utah County Attorney’s office said. “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.”
It was first reported that Nicholas Alahverdian “died” in February 2020 after a battle with late-stage non-Hodgkins lymphoma. The then 32-year-old had spent the weeks before his “death” telling reporters that he only had weeks to live and that they needed to write about his story.
The Rhode Island man claimed that his story of crusader for foster children, shot down by cancer was something that the public needed to know about. When some newspapers refused to write about him, Alahverdian allegedly became angry.
His death was reported by someone claiming to be his wife and an official obituary was published. It said, “Mr. Alahverdian died two months after going public with his diagnosis of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. He was in his 32nd year. At the bedside were Mrs. Alahverdian, their two children, and extended family. His last words were “fear not and run toward the bliss of the sun.”
Alahverdian’s foster mother told officials that she believed the obituary was written by the Rhode Island man himself because she recognized his writing style.
After his “death” Alahverdian’s alleged widow tried to get law makers to participate in a memorial, but celebrations of the late Nicholas Alahverdian never happened after law enforcement discovered that he could be still alive.
His ex-wife said she didn’t believe police when they called her and said that he was found in Scotland. She said, “At first I didn’t believe it. I said this has to be Nick; he probably hired someone to get in touch with me to scope out the situation, because that’s the very special kind of deception he would do.”
While officials are working to get Nicholas Alahverdian back to the United States to face charges, it is unclear when he will arrive. Police say that the international extradition process is very long.