Cops: Man missing off Jones Beach alive and well -- in Florida
Related mediaU.S. boating deaths Drownings, near-drownings and water incidents Map of Long Island drownings and water rescues
A Massapequa man feared drowned last weekend in the waters off Jones Beach is believed to be alive and well in Florida, police said Wednesday.
With his disappearance setting off a massive ocean search, police said Raymond Roth, 47, was last seen by family members swimming east of Jones Beach Field 6 about 3:30 p.m. Saturday.
State Park Police Capt. Bruce Marx said at the time that Roth's wife and son never saw him return.
"The son said that he swam straight out and he lost sight of him," Marx said.
But police said Wednesday that Roth's brother called them to report that Roth had contacted him from Florida.
"Now the investigation is, of course, taking a different direction," Det. Sgt. Thomas Duignan said. "We're trying to determine whether this was planned, and whether there was any intent."
Duignan said Florida authorities went to the location where the brother said Roth was staying, but have not made contact with him as of Wednesday night.
Police would not disclose the location in Florida, and the identity of the brother was withheld.
The search was still going on through Wednesday afternoon, assisted by Nassau police, Duignan said, although hope for a survival rescue had shifted to the recovery of a body.
After getting the news from Roth's brother, Duignan said the park police called off the search about 8 p.m.
Duignan said the State Park Police spoke "several times" with the missing man's wife Wednesday night. "She claims absolutely no knowledge of this series of events. . . . She was very upset, thinking that he drowned," he said.
Roth works for an international computer firm, Duignan said, but no additional information was immediately available about his background.