Lifestyle & Human Interest

Utah Man Who Allegedly Faked His Own Death Discovered Alive Halfway Across The World


One man who has kept a step ahead of the law after allegedly committing multiple crimes has been located in Scotland after a slip-up that cost him his freedom.

Nicholas Rossi — who has also gone by the names Nicholas Alahverdian, Nicholas Alahverdian Rossi, Nicholas Edward Rossi, Nicholas Alahverdian-Rossi, Nick Alan, Nicholas Brown, Arthur Brown and Arthur Knight — was a suspect in a sexual assault case in Utah in 2008, according to a news release Wednesday from the Utah County, Utah, prosecutor’s office.

County Attorney David O. Leavitt said the sexual assault kit from that incident was submitted for DNA testing in 2017 and a match was found with another sexual assault case in Ohio, where Rossi was also the suspect.

The news release said the victim was found and approved of prosecuting the suspect, so charges were filed.

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Rossi has also been linked to a number of other crimes across multiple states, including opening at least 22 credit cards and loans under his foster mother’s husband’s name and racking up close to $200,000 in debt, according to The Providence Journal in Rhode Island, where Rossi was involved in politics.

Since his connection to the Ohio case, Rossi had fled the country and faked his death, authorities said.

According to the Journal, he announced he had late-stage non-Hodgkin lymphoma and only weeks to live, and then had his death announced in February 2020 — all, apparently, in an attempt to shake the justice that was seeking him out.

In a somewhat ironic turn of events, Rossi was recently found in Glasgow, Scotland, after catching COVID-19 and ending up in the ICU, where he nearly died.

“He was located in Scotland about a month ago, where he was on a ventilator,” Rhode Island State Police Maj. Robert A. Creamer said.

Scottish authorities worked with U.S. authorities to detain and monitor the 34-year-old, who was going by the name Arthur Knight.

“It’s a very bizarre set of circumstances,” a source told The Scottish Sun. “Police attended the ward on behalf of their colleagues in the States.

“Once it was established Knight was who they were looking for, a cop was stationed at his door non-stop. He was officially arrested in connection with the Interpol red notice and then the fiscal became involved to begin the extradition process back to America.”

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His former wife, Kathryn Heckendorn, who allegedly was scammed out of more than $60,000 by Rossi, was impressed that he was caught — and said she thought it was part of another elaborate scam at first.

“At first I didn’t believe it,” Heckendorn said. “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.”

It seems that Rossi’s past has finally caught up with him and he has been humbled by his own weakness, thanks to the partnership of law enforcement domestic and abroad.

“Our office is grateful for the significant interagency collaboration of law enforcement to bring this suspect to justice,” Leavitt said.

“We credit Utah’s Sexual Assault Kit Initiative grant funded through the Department of Justice and the Bureau of Justice Assistance as playing a significant role in testing backlogged kits and ultimately identifying the suspect.”

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