Mystery surrounds killing of American citizen near La Fortuna
Editor’s note: An update to this story is available here.
February 11th, 2014 (InsideCostaRica.com) There remains no known motive for the brutal murder of 64-year-old U.S. citizen, Kurt Heigis, though authorities are beginning to rule out robbery as a motive in the man’s killing.
Heigis was killed by unknown assailants around 7:30pm Sunday night on a gravel road about 4km from La Fortuna de San Carlos. Authorities said the rural road on which the couple traveled is frequented by drug traffickers and addicts.
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 assailants.
The version of events of what happened next varies. According to one account, Heigis walked over to the vehicle to offer assistance; according to another account, the assailants approached Heigis’s vehicle and drug him from the drivers seat.
Two of the assailants then hit Heigis in the head, stabbed him and cut his throat on the side of the road, killing him. Blandon told authorities that the third assailant restrained her during the slaying and that she survived by begging for her life.
Robbery does not appear to be a motive in the slaying, as the assailants did not steal any valuables from the couple, including $1,900 in cash that Heigis had with him.
According to immigration authorities, Heigis had entered and exited Costa Rica 19 times since 2007. His last entry is recorded as December 8th, 2013.
Unconfirmed reports indicate that Heigis may have had business interests in Guatemala. Neighbors of Heigis said that he mostly kept to himself.