US fugitive who faked own death found in Glasgow hospital with Covid

Nicholas Rossi, who goes by multiple aliases, was arrested by Police Scotland at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

US fugitive who faked own death found in Glasgow hospital with Covid iStock
Nicholas Rossi appeared in court via video link from the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

A man who faked his own death as he faced criminal charges in the United States, including sex assault and fraud charges, has been arrested at a hospital in Glasgow.

US prosecutors say they are now looking to extradite Nicholas Rossi – who has gone under the guise of at least eight aliases – after he was discovered alive and being treated for Covid at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, almost two years after his supposed death.

Former Rhode Island child welfare advocate Rossi was linked to a 2008 sex assault case following an investigation by prosecutors in the western US state of Utah using DNA evidence from a rape kit.

The 34-year, who was arrested on an Interpol red notice, gave the name Arthur Knight to Police Scotland officers when he was arrested at the QEUH.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Officers arrested a 34-year-old man in Glasgow on Monday, December 13 in connection with an international arrest warrant.

“A report was submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.”

The Crown Office said he appeared via video link from the QEUH on Thursday, December 23 in relation to extradition proceedings for the US, adding that no future dates have yet been fixed.

In 2020, the Utah County Attorney’s office conducted a review of old sexual assault cases, where the original sexual assault kits had not been tested.

The review connected Rossi to a sexual assault case in Utah in 2008.

It had been closed by the lead detective without being referred to the Utah County Attorney’s Office for screening.

In 2018, the DNA review connected him to another sexual assault case in Ohio. Investigators believed Rossi had left the US and had led state legislators in other states to believe he was dead.

The Utah County Attorney’s Office said on Wednesday that due to the diligent efforts of SBI (State Bureau of Investigation) agents, and various investigators in other states and agencies, Rossi was discovered to be living under an assumed name in Scotland.  

It added he has now been taken into custody and that officials are working on having him extradited to Utah.

Utah County Attorney David Leavitt said: “We have full faith and support of Scotland Police in this matter.

“Ultimately, the decision regarding bail is left to the international courts until Mr. Rossi is extradited to the United States.

“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.”

It was reported by Rossi’s family that he had died on February 29, 2020, from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma at age 32.

His “death” was reported in several news outlets, including the Associated Press. He was remembered with citations from politicians and even on the floor of the Rhode Island statehouse.

An online obituary said he had been cremated and his remains scattered at sea.

The obituary on EverLoved.com now runs under a banner that reads “Contents of this memorial website have been found to be inaccurate. We’ve allowed it to stay posted due to its relevance in recent news.”

In addition to the death itself, it’s not yet known what else in the account is inaccurate.