Person of interest in custody after triple murder in La Fortuna

February 12th, 2013 (InsideCostaRica.com)  Officials of the Judicial Investigation Organization (OIJ) detained a man yesterday afternoon in downtown La Fortuna in San Carlos, who OIJ officials say is “important to the investigation” of a triple murder of a hotel owner and his two sons which occurred in La Fortuna over the weekend.

 

The murders of Geovanny Soto Ruiz, 52, and two of his sons, Mauricio and Enmanual Soto Soto, 29 and 20 years old, respectively, were discovered when their bodies were found in the early morning hours Saturday.

 

The bodies of Mr. Soto Ruiz and one of his sons, who were found with their throats cut, also showed signs of torture.  Their bodies were found near the Arenal River, on the old road between La Fortuna and Monterrey.

 

The youngest of the three men was found shot to death on the way to the Fortuna River waterfalls.

 

The family’s lawyer, Manuel Tuckler, said three or four men arrived at Mr. Soto Ruiz’s home on Friday night and took the man and his son Mauricio to the Mountain Paradise Hotel, which he owned.  Soto apparently retrieved something from the hotel and left with the men, and neither he nor his son was seen again.

 

At 12:30am on Saturday neighbors alerted authorities of a shooting near the Fortuna River waterfall.  When they arrived, they found the body of Soto’s other son, Enmanuel Soto, with at least four gunshot wounds.  His body was found in a microbus owned by the family.

 

It wasn’t until 8am that a farmer discovered the bodies of Geovanny Soto and his son Mauricio near the Arenal River Bridge.  Authorities say their bodies showed signs of torture, and their throats were cut.

 

Soto’s hotel, The Mountain Paradise Hotel, is located on the road from La Fortuna to Palma.  The Soto family purchased the hotel about six years ago.

 

Yesterday, in addition to detaining a person of interest in La Fortuna, authorities raided the hotel and seized computer hard drives and other evidence, in an effort to find a motive for the killings.  Officials said that money-laundering experts would look for signs of criminal activity and attempt to determine the source of the funds used to purchase the hotel.  Officials do not believe the motive was simple robbery.

 

The detained man attempted to flee from officials in a vehicle for about three miles, but was eventually placed into custody.

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