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Friday, January 29th, 2016  |  USD: Buy 531.29 / Sell 543.92
20 years

U.S. tourist shot last month in Costa Rica dies

Steven Adamn Flesch

Steven Adamn Flesch

May 8th, 2013 ( 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 [email protected] and we will put you in touch.  


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  • Tiffany

    Oh my. A tourist is shot in Costa Rica (by locals I assume) and the hospital is demanding payment for the bills and refusing to release him? Sounds like a PR nightmare for the country.

  • georgechapogas

    my experience with consulados and embassies is fairly consistent. i doubt a tico in the USA could get their consulates to answer the phone. type in consulates on google for different countries and look at the posted remarks. none of them work more than absolutely necessary.

  • disgusted

    Unfortunately these “”Juveniles”" will get a slap on the wrist and in a few months be back doing what they do. Shameful! My condolences to the family. The Embassy and the ambassadors here and everywhere we are learning are not here to help the US citizens. It is just a PUBLIC RELATIONSHIP job doing the Presidents bidding. .

  • prdatki

    The President and her crooked Congress should pay his medicals bills. Maybe the criminals and there familes should pay his bills too. That way at least they would be punished.Costa Rica needs to have public executions.

  • Donna Angell Mauldin Bishop

    Reparition. A bunch of us pay into the Caja medical and will more than likely not use it at all, utilize those monies for the poor hospital care he likely received. I’m thinking sanitary conditions.

    The embassy is a sham and good luck on justice in this country.

  • Daniela Rosaura

    This is a very, very sad situation and reflects very badly on the ticos and the way they think about gringos, although virtually every one I have talked with about their experiences in the States has been very happy with the way they were treated there. .

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