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Man accused of faking disappearance at sea indicted by grand jury

Richard Ohrn, 45, faces federal charge of communicating false distress

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ROYAL PALM BEACH, Fla. – A Boca Raton man accused of faking his own disappearance at sea is facing a federal charge.

Richard Ohrn, 45, faces a felony charge of communicating false distress to the U.S. Coast Guard. He was indicted by a grand jury Thursday.

A Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office report said that Ohrn set a blood-stained boat adrift in the Atlantic Ocean on March 31, 2015. The report said he then used an inflatable boat to travel back to shore and flee to Georgia.

The incident triggered a search by air and sea.

Investigators said Ohrn was trying to escape mounting costs from a lawsuit when he rented a 19-foot Sea Ray boat, left his truck parked at a Deerfield Beach marina and set the boat adrift. It was later found about two miles off the coast of southern Palm Beach County.

PBSO spokeswoman Teri Barbera said Ohrn remained in jail Monday night.