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 has asked a court to protect her from her husband, saying she fears he might try to kill her.
Evana Roth alerted authorities that her husband, Raymond Roth, 47, was still alive after she found emails he'd exchanged with his son saying his disappearance was an act.
"I was planning a funeral for him," she said, during a news conference at her lawyer's office Aug. 3. In that meeting with reporters, she revealed text messages, emails and voice mails in which she said her husband had outlined an elaborate plan to fake his own death.
Leonard Leeds, Evana Roth's attorney, said Raymond Roth had allegedly taken out extra life insurance and removed his wife as executor of his will months earlier, which led her to believe he had had been planning to stage his own death.
"Our goal is really to get her protection, make sure that she's not in any imminent danger," said Leeds. "We plan to go into court to get a stay-away order."
Roth's son, Jonathan, 22, said he didn't help his father, and told the New York Post that his father wanted to kill him and told him so in a voice mail.
Leeds said the email correspondence between Raymond Roth and his son proved that Jonathan, who is Evana Roth's stepson, was in on the alleged plot. Roth said he never saw any emails from his father and believes his dad is angry that his son foiled his scheme.
"She [Evana Roth] believes Jonathan knew about this," said Leeds. "Jonathan was at the beach, called her, said dad has drowned, all of his personal belongings were there. So she just thinks it was not credible."
Raymond Roth was reported missing July 28 after he allegedly went swimming at Jones Beach. Roth's son called 911 to tell police that his father had gone into the water at Jones Beach's Field 6 and had not returned.
It wasn't until Aug. 2 that Roth was found in South Carolina after he'd spent time in a resort in Orlando, Fla. Detective Sgt. Thomas Duignan of the New York State Park Police said Roth had been 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."
On Friday, Evana Roth released emails her husband had sent her stepson. 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 the day of his disappearance and told him to call him at 8 p.m. at a resort in Florida.
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 reported.
Roth said that since she went public with her accusations, her husband has been sending her messages to try to reconcile with her. In one message, Raymond Roth wrote, "I just heard U have a conference later. Be Nice. Almost 15 years together."
Roth was last seen driving through his Long Island neighborhood Aug. 3. He sent his wife a text message saying, "The place looks a little crowded. I just drive by. Call me later."
"I think she wants to move on with her life, end the marriage, and not worry about her safety," said Leeds.
Duignan said Roth lost his job as a computer manager at Level 3 Communications in New York City July 20.
A spokesman for Level 3 Communications declined to comment on Roth.