Thursday, February 13, 2014

Costa Rica: Update--Stabbing Murder of Montanan Native, 64, Suspects Being Sought

According to the February 12, 2014 issue of Inside Costa Rica, an unidentified source close to the investigation into the premeditated murder of US citizen Kurt Heigis, 64, who was stabbed to death by two assailants on Sunday night (February 9), is being sought.
Authorities are hoping to interview a laborer who previously worked on Heigis’ six-acre property, who could have critical information regarding the American's death.
Heigis was killed by unknown assailants at approximately 1930 hours, some four kilometers (2.5 miles) from La Fortuna de San Carlos.
COMMENT: Heigis was traveling home with his romantic partner, a 30-year-old Nicaraguan woman identified as Marta Rafaela Blandón, when they approached a bridge that was blocked by a vehicle, apparently driven by three men.

The vehicle, which apparently seemed to have had "car trouble," was in fact the vehicle containing Heigis' assailants.
When Heigis exited his truck, he reportedly was hit in the head, stabbed in the abdomen; his throat was also slit.  He died on the side of the road.

As mentioned in my earlier postings, robbery is not likely to have been a motive for Heigis' murder, as the American was reported to be carrying a large amount of cash with him, which according to INSIDE COSTA RICA, was his routine, given the risk of burglary in unoccupied dwellings in the area.

The large sum of money that the American carried was not stolen.
Heigis was from Columbus, MT and spent several months in Costa Rica each year as a “snow bird,” according to his daughter, Joanna Mong, one of his three daughters.
Heigis’ family also reported that their father was not involved in the drug trade. 

Asked about his business dealings, Mong said her father was simply “interested in investment properties.” This is yet another lead that needs to be pursued by someone, whether it be in the Department of State or an experienced investigator familiar with criminal investigations abroad.
As I have said previously, if we presume that Mr. Heigis was not involved in any criminality, he must have developed a huge grudge in the minds of his assailants for such a brutal and premeditated conspiracy to have been committed. 

One can only hope, now that a romantic connection has been made to Ms. Blandón, that the young woman is able to shed light on all of Heigis' associates, friends, neighbors and acquaintances in the hope of developing viable leads.

Violent crimes like murders, robberies, and sexual assaults also have been committed against Americans. Since January 2011, at least 12 US citizens have been murdered.  

It is unknown as to whether any of those responsible for these 12 homicides have been brought to justice, let alone convicted.

Costa Rica’s Organismo de Investigacion Judicial (OIJ) reported 394 homicides in 2012; TWO of whom were US citizens. Nine Americans have reported that they were sexually assaulted in 2012.

Based upon numerous visits to Costa Rica, and not being aware of the integrity of Costa Rican criminal statistics (which I taught at George Washington University for a number of years), and considering that 9% of the country is made up of foreigners, I would have to say that the reported OIJ homicides  seem sparse, considering that one million US citizens travel to Costa Rica annually.

For whatever reason, Heigis did not have insurance to cover the return of his remains to Montana, which also suggests that he did not have international medical treatment and evacuation coverage for the months he spent in Costa Rica.

Consequently, those interested in making donations should contact Joanna and Alvin Mong:

alvinmong@yahoo.com

Unrelated to the murder of Mr. Heigis, please see the below link to foreign nationals who have disappeared in Costa Rica:

http://missingamericans.ning.com/group/missingincostarica
To see a photograph of the most effective police station in Costa Rica, please see the below link provided by http://www.welovecostarica.com:

http://www.welovecostarica.com/public/US_Ambassador_in_Costa_Rica_Thought_Costa_Ricas_Most_Effective_Police_Station_Was_A_Bus_Stop
This report will be updated as new information becomes available.