NEW YORK – The son of a man who was reported missing in New York but later turned up in South Carolina says he wasn't part of any plan concerning his father.
Jonathan Roth spoke to media outlets from an undisclosed location. The 22-year-old said he had nothing to do with the actions of his father, Raymond Roth. The elder Roth vanished a week ago after a swim at Jones Beach, and his son reported him missing. Authorities undertook a massive air and water search, costing thousands of dollars.
He was later spotted in Florida. Early Thursday morning, he was stopped going 90 mph and given a speeding ticket in Santee, S.C. The officer who issued the ticket saw that Roth was listed in a national registry of missing people. Roth said he was returning to New York, and the officer let him proceed north.
On Friday, Roth's wife told reporters he had staged the disappearance without her knowledge. She distributed copies of emails he had sent to his son.
In one email, Raymond Roth instructs his son to contact him at an Orlando, Fla., resort on Sunday evening — a day after he was last seen at Jones Beach. A second email sent nine minutes later refers to Raymond Roth's need to "get to the bank for cash for the trip."
Jonathan Roth said he never received any emails from his father.
New York State Park Police Capt. Bruce Marx said Sunday that authorities still don't know where exactly Roth is.
Evana Roth said her husband had recently been fired from his job. He also put their house up for sale; a listing has an asking price of $550,000.
Nassau County Police said Friday that Roth recently had been required to surrender a handgun and his pistol license after a harassment complaint was filed against him in New York City. Details of the complaint were not immediately available.