47-year-old Raymond Roth -- the one-time “missing Jones Beach Swimmer” -- stepped out of a New York State Park Police vehicle wearing sneakers and handcuffs Wednesday.
Investigators say he conspired late last month with his son Jonathan to fake his own death.
The hoax initially triggered an intensive search that shut down Jones Beach.
Det. Sgt. Thomas Duignan told Pix11, “There’s quite a few agencies involved. There was a marine division, helicopters, fire departments, EMTs, New York State Park Police patrols. Quite a few agencies were involved at quite an expense. And it took away from resources that could have been elsewhere.”
While police conducted a search for him, Roth decided it would be a good idea to check into his timeshare – in Florida.
Days later, a local police officer in South Caroline pulled him over on Rt. 95– in his own Honda Accord.
“We have reason to believe he planned it, and tried to carry it through. Otherwise we wouldn’t be charging him with what we’re charging him with”, Sgt. Duignan said.
Nassau County district Attorney Kathleen Rice says her office will push to ensure Roth pays for this scheme.
"The coast guard estimates their costs at more than twenty-seven thousand dollars. Nassau county police spent more than seven thousand dollars in fuel alone . And tens of thousands of dollars in additional costs were incurred by state and local authorities", said Rice.
After he re-appeared, Roth hired a lawyer and checked himself in to a hospital, citing depression.
Both he and his son are now pointing the finger at one another.