Missing N.Y. Swimmer's Wife Said She Planned His Funeral

PHOTO: Raymond Roth, 47, was reported missing in waters off Long Island and then found alive and well in South Carolina.
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The wife of a Massapequa, N.Y., man who was reported missing in waters off a Long Island beach and turned up five days later in South Carolina, said she had reason to suspect that her husband was up to no good.

Evana Roth, whose husband, Raymond Roth, 47, was reported missing after he allegedly went swimming at Jones Beach on Saturday in unprotected waters and never returned to shore, said that she felt "anger and sadness" when she heard her husband had been vacationing in Florida and had not drowned.

"I was planning a funeral for him," she said during a press conference at her lawyer's office on Friday.

Evana Roth's attorney, Leonard Leeds, spilled out a bag of Roth's belongings that he had reportedly left at the beach on the day of his disappearance, including his shoes, cell phone, keys, and wallet, with his license noticeably absent.

According to ABC affiliate WABC, Roth allegedly took out extra life insurance, and took his wife off as the executor of his will months earlier, which led Evana Roth to believe her husband had been planning to stage his own death.

Roth's 22-year-old son, Jonathan, called 911 at 3:15 p.m. on Saturday to tell police that his father had gone into the water at Jones Beach's Field 6 and did not return. Roth allegedly went swimming 750 feet east of the closest lifeguard, said Det. Sgt. Thomas Duignan of the state park police, who responded to the scene.

Duignan said the Nassau County police marine/aviation bureau, the town of Hempstead Bay Constables, the Wantagh Fire Department, and the coast guard responded to the scene to search for Roth. The costly search went on for days, he said.

Duignan said at the time of the search, Jonathan Roth seemed distraught. His wife, who was not at the beach with her husband and son at the time, was very upset, he said.

It wasn't until Thursday morning that Roth was found in South Carolina after spending time in Florida. Duignan said Roth was stopped by an officer on I-95 for speeding.

"The officer ran his license and noticed that he was listed as a missing person and contacted us," he said. "He told the officer he was on his way back to New York."

Duignan said he believes Roth has now returned to New York and is staying with his brother.

Duignan said the state park police executed a warrant Thursday evening and seized two computers from Roth's home. He said the state park police plan to take a third computer from the home sometime today.

"We're trying to see if there's any evidence of him planning this, to see what transpired before Saturday the 28," Duignan said.

Duignan said Evana Roth released emails her husband had sent her step-son to the New York Post. According to the New York Post, Roth allegedly instructed his son to speak with relatives to make sure he presented them with a new copy of Roth's will.

Roth allegedly emailed his son that he needed to check in with him on Saturday -- the day of his disappearance -- and told him to call him at 8 p.m. at a resort in Florida, WABC said.

Jonathan Roth was also allegedly told by his father to make sure his mother wouldn't "give the house away," which was for sale, the New York Post said.

"We don't believe [Evana Roth] had anything to do with this," Duignan said. "I can't comment on the son's involvement."

Duignan said Roth lost his job as a computer manager at Level 3 Communications in New York City on July 20.

A spokesman for Level 3 Communications declined to comment on Roth.

"The Nassau County District Attorney's office is collaborating with police investigating this matter. The investigation is ongoing and no decision has been made as to whether criminal charges will be filed," said spokesman John Byrne.

Duignan said that the while charges had not been filed against Roth as of this morning, "we do believe it will culminate in his arrest."

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