The search for a Rhode Island man who faced prosecution in the United States has now come to a close following his hospitalization for COVID-19. Authorities located Nicholas Alahverdian, 34, in all places, Glasgow, Scotland, after developing a serious case of coronavirus that required him to be placed on a respirator. Alahverdian was wanted by Interpol, and faces extradition to the United States with regards to a 2008 charge of first-degree rape in Utah, leading to a faked death investigation.
Back in 2008, when he was residing in Orem, Utah, Alahverdian was going by the surname “Rossi.” While on Myspace, he met a 21-year-old woman with whom he developed a relationship. When she finally ended the relationship, Alahverdian still owed her some money. Despite promises to pay her back, she asserted that Alahverdian sexually assault her. However, the crucial DNA material from the survivor’s evidence collection kit was not tested until almost ten years later in 2017 due to the nationwide phenomenon in which state departments experience deep backlogs in their evidence collection kits, or as they’re commonly known, “rape kits.” Once the DNA was finally tested, it came back as a match to another sexual assault case in Ohio. Unfortunately, Alahverdian was already believed to be dead due to a faked death scenario.
“Investigators also learned that Nicholas Rossi had fled the country to avoid prosecution in Ohio, and attempted to leave investigators and state legislators in other states to believe that he was deceased,” said a statement released from Utah County Attorney David Leavitt’s office on Wednesday. “Mr. Rossi was discovered to be living under an assumed name in Scotland.”
In addition to charges that Alahverdian faces in both Ohio and Utah, he is also wanted by Rhode Island State Police for charges related to failing to register as a sex offender. He is also wanted at the federal level by the FBI for charges relating to credit card fraud committed in the name of his foster father, totaling more than $200,000.
Following the discovery of Alahverdian’s various crimes and attempt to fake his death to evade prosecution, many have been left with the question of how individuals who are believed to have faked their deaths can ever be held to account for their actions. In Alahverdian’s case, law enforcement was heavily involved, if not hamstrung by the rape kit backlog that delayed the testing of the evidence. However, many families of victims of violent crimes, large-scale frauds, or related crimes, sometimes have no recourse with the main suspect in their case manages to evade justice. In Alahverdian’s case, his identity was ultimately discovered once he was forced to check into a hospital for COVID-19, but such circumstances may not occur in other cases. While it’s true that the FBI can work with other foreign state intelligence agencies to search for high-profile targets on their list, it can still be difficult to conduct boots-on-the-ground investigations that can lead to major developments in a search. To further exacerbate matters, when the individual has gone the extra mile to fake their death, the case becomes even more complicated.
If corporations, families, or private individuals believe a person of interest has faked death in order to escape accountability, there are options outside of the traditional law enforcement route. Private investigators and private intelligence firms sometimes have the resources and manpower to send investigators outside the United States borders to look for evidence of a faked death scenario in their case. Private investigators have access to verified databases that can extend nationally, and often do not have the caseload of state or federal investigators that would otherwise prevent them from chasing down every lead in a faked death scenario. While state or federal agencies may not be able to deploy agents on a particular case, private investigators have complete autonomy from state and federal agencies as long as they are acting within the confines of their license. The value in this autonomy is found in the investigator’s ability to trigger a field investigation outside of U.S. jurisdiction without waiting for approval. In this way, more valuable time is not lost in the case, which increases the likelihood that both witnesses and crucial evidence in the case can still be recovered.
After the two-year anniversary of her daughter’s disappearance, the mother of Harmony Montgomery has spoken out. Crystal Sorey reached out to the media, and amidst criticism of how her daughter’s case was handled, let the public know that she believes her baby is still alive, “I don’t feel like she’s gone. I just don’t feel that in my heart…and a mother knows, a mother knows if your baby’s here or not. I know she’s here.”
The case of Harmony Montgomery faced the same issues that many missing person cases did around the time of the COVID-19 outbreak. Harmony was last seen by Manchester police when they answered a call to her home in October of 2019, according to the New Hampshire Union Leader. However, any missing person investigator will tell you that if the case is not resolved within the first week of the investigation, it’s crucial for the missing person’s face to stay in the media. The continued presence of a missing person’s face in the media raises the likelihood that someone will recognize the missing person and provide law enforcement with information they may have on their disappearance. This generates new leads, which raises the chance that the missing person will be found. However, in the case of Harmony Montgomery, just eight short weeks after her disappearance, the first news of the COVID-19 pandemic hit the media. As the virus spread, COVID-19 dominated the news cycle, and missing person cases that desperately needed the media exposure were all but forgotten by the public at large. Now two years later, Crystal Sorey is making sure the world hasn’t forgotten about her missing daughter.
Harmony Montgomery was only 5 years old when she disappeared in October 2019. Unfortunately, it had been months since Forey had seen Harmony, reportedly because the girl’s father, Adam Montgomery, had blocked all contact between Harmony and her mother, according to NBC. Last week, Adam Montgomery was arrested by authorities and formally charged with felony second-degree assault “connected to conduct against Harmony” back in 2019. The New Hampshire Police followed up to say that he may also face charges of interference with custody, and two charges of endangering the welfare of a child. Harmony’s stepmother, Kayla Montgomery, was also arrested because she fraudulently received food stamp benefits for Harmony even after her disappearance. According to police, between December 2019 and June 2021, Kayla Montgomery received $1,500 in benefits for the missing girl, even though she had not lived with her or Adam.
Despite the flurry of arrests that have taken place over the course of the investigation into Harmony Montgomery’s disappearance, little progress has actually been made in finding the now 7-year-old girl. Last Saturday, the house where Harmony Montgomery was last seen was formally searched by law enforcement, despite the fact that there are now new occupants who are not related to the case. Police have established a tip line dedicated to Harmony’s case and have offered a cash reward for information leading to Harmony’s location in the sum of $94,000.
The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department announced that they believe Williams has travelled to Flint, Michigan and have contacted the city’s police department to share her face and information in the hopes that someone will recognize her.
An Indianapolis family has been rocked by the death of a home healthcare worker who was found dead under mysterious circumstances. Mo’Nesha McKinley tragically died in her home following a fatal shooting in the 1000 block of North Rural Street in Indianapolis, Indiana. The circumstances of the case triggered a death investigation which is now being treated as a homicide by Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.
Just days before Mo’Nesha was discovered in her home, her family had reported her missing. After reporting her missing, Mo’Nesha’s sister went to her home for answers. The sister, who wished to remain anonymous when she spoke to Fox59 said, “Her door was open and my sister went upstairs and found her by her tub dead.” At the time of her disappearance, Mo’Nesha had fierce and loving bonds with her large family, including her three boys, her siblings, parents, and godparents—all of whom called her ‘Moe Moe’. “We’ve got to bury her,” said Mo’Nesha’s sister, “We’ve got to bury her in front of her three kids. They’re lost. The three kids are lost. All they want is their momma.” Mo’Nesha was pronounced dead at the scene by investigators.
In addition to the tragic and grisly discovery of her body, there were also valuables missing from Mo’Nesha’s home, including her SUV. What’s piqued investigators’ interests is the timeline of the case. Mo’Nesha was found deceased on Sunday, October 17, 2021. Her family had reported her missing the previous Wednesday, October 13. At the time of the missing person report, a search of her home had turned up no clues to her whereabouts. Four days later, her body is found in her bathroom.
Even more disturbing, the family has reported to Fox59 that they have received threats by individuals online who are allegedly connected to the case, and pray for answers or an arrest before anyone else is hurt. “We shouldn’t have to sleep with one eye open,” said Mo’Nesha’s sister. “Were just afraid for our life. We don’t’ know what she could have done to make people feel this way.”
If anyone has information regarding the homicide of Mo’Nesha McKinley, they are encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at (317) 262-TIPS, or call Detective Charles Benner at IMPD Homicide Office at (317) 327-3475, or email at Charles.Benner@indy.gov.
In a time when pandemic restrictions and the continued turn of the globe already play a direct role in causing family members and friends to lose touch, many families are also struggling to remain in contact with some of their more vulnerable family members—folks who may suffer from a chronic illness, folks who have high-pressure jobs, or folks who suffer from substance abuse. In these difficult times, some families have been forced to file a missing person report when they could not get in touch with their loved ones. One such Indianapolis mother is continuing the search for her missing son, Jason Culliton, whom she has not seen in over a year.
April 6, 2020 was the last time Judy Culliton saw her son. It was a mild, cloudy day in Indiana—the day of his grandmother’s funeral. While the event was far from a happy occasion to reunite with relatives, Judy had no idea that it would be the last time she would speak to her son in person. Following the funeral of his grandmother, Jason continued to remain in contact with his mother via a sparse series of text messages in June 2020. Now more than a year later, his family has not heard a word from Jason.
Jason Culliton has struggled with substance abuse issues and transience in the past, but knowledge of his whereabouts was rather nebulous in the months before his disappearance. It was believed Jason had been living with a close friend on N Oxford Street in Indianapolis, Indiana before that friend lost his home. Now it is unknown if Jason is travelling, if he is alone, or how he is living day-to-day.
After 18 months without answers, Jason’s family has retained an independent missing person investigator to assist them in the search. Lauth Investigations International is a family-owned-and-operated private investigation firm located in Indianapolis, Indiana. Their CEO, Thomas Lauth, is one of the nation’s foremost missing person experts, specializing in critically missing children and adults. Indianapolis missing person cases are diverse in needs, but often do not get the attention they need from law enforcement. Having a private investigator on the case ensures that no stone is left unturned in the search for a missing person. In addition to their professional expertise, Lauth’s missing person investigations also have a multi-pronged approach in awareness campaigns for their cases to assure that missing persons like Jason still get the media exposure necessary to help solve the case. In an interview about the case, Thomas Lauth said, “The media is one of the greatest tools in a missing person investigation, because keeping the missing person’s face in the media is one of the best ways to garner fresh leads in a case. Cases like Jason’s receive a disparate amount of media exposure because he is not young or female. We’re here to make sure no one forgets about Jason and to help his family get the closure they desperately need in these trying times.”
Jason is 5’11” tall, weighs approximately 205lbs, has brown hair, and hazel eyes. Anyone with information on his whereabouts should call Lauth Investigations International at 317-951-1100.