An American fugitive from justice, presumed dead from cancer in 2020, was found admitted to a hospital in Scotland with covid-19. Nicholas Alahverdian, 34, had been convicted of a rape charge in Utah, in the United States, and after sentencing, faked his own death.
According to the American newspaper New York Times, Allahverdian used the name Arthur Knight. He was hospitalized and, at one point, needed ventilation to breathe. It was the staff at the hospital where he was who managed to recognize him and notify the authorities. According to investigators, the identity was discovered through photographs, fingerprints and a DNA sample provided to Interpol.
Alahverdian was arrested on 13 December “in connection with an international arrest warrant”, Scottish police said. The investigated even attended a virtual hearing at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital on December 23, to respond to the extradition process. He was taken into custody.
Investigators said he used several aliases, including Nicholas Rossi, and was convicted in 2008 under that name. Regarding the Utah conviction from which the accused fled, county attorney David Leavitt said the man’s DNA matched genetic evidence that had been taken from the victim. Also according to the authorities, he was the target of more than one complaint of sexual violence.
When faking his own death, Alahverdian left a message stating that his “remains were cremated with his ashes scattered at sea”. At the time, the police did not believe the death information and continued with the investigation.
There is still no information about the trial and extradition of the accused.