May 8th, 2013 (InsideCostaRica.com) A Wisconsin man who was shot a little more than a month ago after being robbed in San Jose died yesterday.
Steven Adamn Flesch, 31, had backpacked through 34 countries in four years and had arrived in Costa Rica in January, according to his sister, Nikki Lannert.
Five attackers robbed Flesch prior to shooting him in the back of the head as he attempted to escape. Three of the suspects were juveniles, while the other two were 19 years of age. Authorities have since arrested the suspects, who are in preventive detention.
Inside Costa Rica spoke to the victim’s sister, Nikki Lannert, via telephone on Friday, prior to Flesch’s death. At the time, the family was attempting to raise money to pay Flesch’s hospital bill at San Juan de Dios hospital and to pay for a medical evacuation back to the United States. Unfortunately, Flesch passed away before the newspaper had a chance to publish the story.
Speaking to Inside Costa Rica prior to her brother’s death, Lannert complained of the lack of assistance that her family received from the U.S. Embassy in San Jose, describing her experience with the Embassy as “horrible.”
“They [the Embassy] didn’t even look for him, friends that were traveling with him that we found on Facebook helped us to locate him,” she said.
She also described a lack of assistance after her brother turned up in the hospital. “The hospital was communicating with the embassy, but the embassy wasn’t communicating with my parents,” she said. “I felt the embassy could have helped more.”
Lannert said that the hospital had been refusing to release her brother until his medical bills were paid. She also said her brother had suffered from numerous infections.
Lannert told Inside Costa Rica that she believes her brother may have been “set up” and lured away from the hostel where he was staying in order to be robbed.
She described him as an experienced traveler.
Lannert said that her brother was uninsured. The family is now attempting to make arrangements to have his body returned to the United States.
Editor’s Note: Our condolences go out to the family of Mr. Flesch. If you would like to offer assistance to the family, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will put you in touch.