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20 years

Officials rule out drugs in murder of American citizen

Kurt Heigis (courtesy of the Heigis family)

Kurt Heigis (courtesy of the Heigis family)

February 13th, 2014 ( Officials have ruled out the possibility that the murder of US citizen, Kurt Heigis was drug-related, the Judicial Investigation Organization (OIJ) told reporters.


OIJ director, Francisco Segura said investigators have ruled out drugs as a motive in the crime based on information collected thus far in the agency’s investigation, adding that Heigis had no criminal history in the United States or Costa Rica.


Segura said Heigis entered and exited the country frequently because he spent his time in the country on a tourist visa.  US citizens are granted a 90-day visa upon arrival in the country.  Those wishing to stay longer commonly make a quick trip out of the country to neighboring Nicaragua or Panama after which they are granted a new 90-day tourist visa upon their return to Costa Rica.


According to immigration authorities, Heigis had entered and exited Costa Rica 19 times since 2007.  His last entry is recorded as December 8th, 2013.


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.


“My father did not do drugs, nor was he into any part of that world,” his daughter said.



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