A British national, Alfred Mill, 20, who INTERPOL has had an alert on on for some time, reportedly murdered a Czech tourist, Alexandra Drbohlavova, 22, on December 28, according to La Nación.
Mill, who apparently has a history of sexual violence and sadistic tendencies, arrived in Costa Rica just one day before he killed Ms. Drbohlavova, ostensibly because she refused to have sex with him. Drbohlavova's body was found by the owner of a farm in Upala, in the northwest Alajuela province with stab wounds to her face, neck and chest.
Drbohlavova had arrived in Costa Rica on December 10, on a tourist visa. On the night of the murder, the farm‘s owner, who may or may not have known that Mills and Drbohlavova were camping on the farm, found the victim’s body in a tent. A short time thereafter, police arrested Mills as he was seen walking away from the property. Officers also confiscated a possible murder weapon, a knife, and bloody clothes from the suspect. Mills reportedly is in custody while investigators assemble their case against him.
COMMENT: It is always sad to see a case like this, although there obviously are many facts that we currently don't know. It appears that somehow the victim and the assailant met each other at some point and that Drbohlavova permitted herself to be in a situation that rendered her vulnerable to Mills' physical demands.
Not knowing Mills' criminal background or being in a position of verifying his bona fides, Drbohlavova apparently took Mills at face value, which can often dramatically increase one's personal security risk, as in this case.
As I have said so many times in the past, it is crucial that foreign travelers exercise prudence in befriending new acquaintances before knowing more about them. It is particularly important not to be too trusting of such persons and to not place ourselves in situations where we are physically vulnerable to their demands.
In my book, STAYING SAFE ABROAD: TRAVELING, WORKING AND LIVING IN A POST-9/11 WORLD, I devote an entire chapter to sexual assault and rape entitled "Sexual Assault: Understanding, Prevention and Response." In that chapter, I extensively address the topic of resistance and urge potential victims to resort to resistance only if there is a high probability of it being successful. If there isn't, it is a far better option to live through the experience than not to, and to see the perpetrator go to prison for many years.