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

Authorities wish to speak to former farm hand in case of murdered American

Kurt Heigis (courtesy of the Heigis family)

Kurt Heigis (courtesy of the Heigis family)

February 12th, 2014 ( A source close to the investigation of the murder of American citizen, Kurt Heigis said that authorities are seeking to speak with a man who used to work on Heigis’ 6-acre property who “could have important information regarding the case.”


Heigis, 64 was killed by unknown assailants around 7:30pm Sunday night on a gravel road about 4km from La Fortuna de San Carlos.


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.


Heigis was hit in the head, stabbed in the abdomen, and his throat was slit.  He died on the side of the road.


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.  Sources say Heigis would take his cash with him when he left home.


Heigis was from Columbus, Montana and spent several months in Costa Rica each year as a “snow bird,” his daughter told Inside Costa Rica.


Family speaks out


Joanna Mong, one of Heigis’ three daughters, told Inside Costa Rica that her father was a simple, private, and hardworking man who would spend the winter months in Costa Rica.


“He loved the country and was looking to retire there,” she said.


“My father did not have any enemies, while he was a good storyteller, he had many friends and family who loved him dearly,” Mong said when asked why anyone would want to hurt her father, adding she did not wish to speculate further, citing the ongoing investigation.


Heigis’ family said that he was not into drugs.


Asked about his business dealings, Mong said her father was simply “interested in investment properties.”


“He didn’t do anything to anybody to deserve this,” Mong said.


Mong said her family is attempting to raise funds to bring her father’s body home to Montana.  “The costs are outrageous, so we are seeking help to get the costs paid for.  He had final wishes and we want them fulfilled for him,” she said.


“This is a horrible nightmare and I’m not waking up.  This has been very surreal…too many questions and not enough answers,” Mong told Inside Costa Rica.


Heigis is survived by his mother, Genevieve Autry; his sister, Veronica Carter; and his daughters, Joanna Mong, Barbara Sparks and Tonya Heigis.




Kurt Heigis’ family is seeking donations to help cover the cost of returning his body to Montana.


For more information, contact his daughter, Joanna Mong, or son-in-law, Alvin Mong, at [email protected]



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  • Douglas Hotchkiss

    this isnt confined to costa rica – old folks everywhere are seen as easy targets by these vermin.

    • Frank Castle

      That is why, legal or not, conceal carry. It might have saved his life.

      • Billy Banjo

        doubt the good guy with a gun lunacy would have work here pappi

  • Chris Thomas

    The Costa Rican goverment all it cares about is money and briging more tourists so they will throw dirt on the story to bury it quick and blame someone because they love to point out when someone is wrong but the Goverment will never take responsibility when they are wrong, how many tourists have to die for people to stop coming here? Many homicides are ruled as suicides or natural cause of death the stats here are altered all the time to hide the real problems.

  • Timothy Williams

    I feel the need to make this statement in order to set the facts straight for the family of Mr. Heigis.

    A web site called the “Costa Rican Times” has published a completely inaccurate report of the death of American citizen, Kurt Heigis.

    ICR does not normally publicly call out on misreporting by other news sites. However, in this case, for the sake of the victim’s family, we feel it is our responsibility.

    The report published by the Costa Rican Times is a completely inaccurate Google Translate translation of reports from Spanish dailies CRHoy and Diaro Extra.

    The report states that Heigis was “beheaded.” This is completely inaccurate, and is an erroneous machine translation of Spanish news sites which state that the victim’s throat was slit. Crime scene photos, of which ICR is in possession, clearly show that the victim was not “beheaded.”

    To misreport something so horrendous could cause undue grief on the victim’s family.

    In addition, the report states that Heigis had traveled by “private plane” to Costa Rica on several occasions.

    This is also an erroneous machine translation of local media reports, which stated that Heigis traveled on several occasions via ‘vuelto privado’ – which in context simply means he was in a private vehicle – meaning he crossed the land border between Nicaragua and Costa Rica several times in a private vehicle. The victim and his family – with whom ICR has been in contact – are of modest means.

    It is blatantly obvious that the “Costa Rican Times” has not been in contact with the victim’s family, nor in contact with OIJ or any other authorities regarding this case, and simply published inaccurate “facts” from erroneous computer translation of local media reports.

    This sort of misreporting is common amongst several smaller English-language news sources who rely on machine translation of local Spanish news sources, and rarely if ever perform any legwork or investigation which would even resemble “journalism.” ICR rarely draws any attention to this misreporting. However, in this one particular case we feel it is our responsibility to set the facts straight for the sake of the victim’s family.

    As terrible as the murder was in fact, I cannot allow the victim’s family to believe their loved one was “beheaded” because some web site relies on computer translation for its reporting.

    Tim Williams, Editor, ICR

    • Frank Castle

      NIce job, Mr. Williams. If only we could get our MSM, in the USA, to get the facts straight FIRST, like you are doing, the US and the world would be a better place. Thank you, again, for practicing good journalistic standards when, in much of the media, they are sadly lacking.

      • Joanna

        It was very disturbing when it was read. Thank you Tim (Mr Williams) for this clarification.

    • Joanna

      It was very disturbing when it was read. Thank you Mr William (Tim) for the clarification.

  • GySgtStryker

    This story reads like an early outline for a comic book.
    What about his Nicaraguan girlfriend? She’s mentioned briefly as being with him. What happened to her? Did she know the assailants? What happened to his $1,900?

    • Douglas Hotchkiss

      he wasnt robbed . that much we know.

  • expatin paradise

    I have seen it reported somewhere that the Nicaraguan companion is this man’s wife. If she is indeed his wife, she would be first in line to inherit Mr. Heigis’ assets. Even if they are modest by US or even Costa Rican standards, they are probably considerable by Nicaraguan standards. Given the typical tendency to blame everything here on Nicas and the fact that she was unharmed, I am really surprised not to see the companion mentioned as a person of interest or even a suspect.

    • Timothy Williams

      The couple were not married (legally) and she has not been ruled out as a suspect. She has been questioned and will likely be questioned again. That is all I can add for the moment.

    • Daryl Smitts

      Pretty simple no? They didn’t take the 1900$ if they were after his dough in any form they probably would have taken it. If they were killing him for his wife’s inheritance they would most likely want it to look like a robbery and would have surely taken the money. She’s got nothing to do with this, I believe.

      • Lav

        Well I guess the bigger question is how much he had on him to begin with. Maybe he was carrying $2500, and they took their fee. Leaving the jewlery and the remainder of the money for the wife… Since she is set to inherit it all as a widower.

        In all honesty, she is the only witness to the events. Whose to say she hasn’t steered the investigation in the wrong direction. She says luxury vehicle, maybe it was a beat up, smoke spewing, dented up Toyota.

        Do you honestly believe, even though she is able to identify them, their vehicle, their accents… That they would let her live, because she begged for her life? They showed zero mercy with the victim, but suddenly they felt like being warm and loving.

        C’mon now…

    • Douglas Hotchkiss

      i hear what youre saying, but i’m all for letting this play out matlock.

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