Rob Parrett told The Columbus Dispatch for a story published Monday that he worried his mother, Rebecca Parrett, died after she disappeared in March 2008.
Her disappearance followed her conviction on securities fraud and other charges in a scheme at National Century Financial Enterprises, a health care financing company based in suburban Columbus. She had been allowed to return to her Arizona home to await sentencing.
"Every night, I'd wake up crying and in a sweat, thinking my mom was in a hole in the desert," the son said.
But a year ago, he learned she was alive. Rob Parrett told the newspaper that his aunt, Linda Case, whispered in his ear: "Bobby, I need you to know that your mom is OK. I've talked to her, and I'm going to be seeing her soon."
Parrett, 43, of Columbus, said he had already been grilled several times by investigators who suspected he knew where his mother was, and he feared his phone and computer had been bugged.
So, one day after his aunt's revelation, he called a deputy U.S. marshal to relay what he had learned.
"If I would have held back that information, I would have been arrested as well, and there was no way I was not going to tell them after what I had already gone through," Parrett said, adding that he wanted his mother found one way or the other, and at any cost.
Case, 67, was arrested shortly thereafter and was later sentenced to six months in prison for lying to federal investigators searching for her sister. Her attorney did not immediately respond to a message for comment on Monday.
In October, Rebecca Parrett was arrested in Ajijic, a Mexican resort town where the government said she often went out dancing and consulted an anti-aging specialist. She is now serving the 25-year prison term.
No phone listing could be found for Rob Parrett. He told the Dispatch he has visited his mother in jail and has spoken with her on the phone frequently.
"She called me in tears and said she was sorry for what she'd done to me," he said.
Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, http://www.dispatch.com