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20 years

American murder victim was secretly married; search for weapon comes up empty handed

Kurt Heigis (courtesy of the Heigis family)

Kurt Heigis (courtesy of the Heigis family)

February 14th, 2014 ( After nearly two hours of searching, divers were unable to locate the knife used in the murder of US citizen, Kurt Heigis, 64.


Divers searched the Chachaguita River, which flows under a bridge where unknown assailants intercepted and killed Heigis as he drove home on the evening of February 9th.


Heigis was traveling home with a 30-year-old Nicaraguan woman identified as Marta Rafaela Blandón, when they approached a bridge on a gravel road about 4km from La Fortuna de San Carlos that was blocked by a vehicle, apparently driven by three assailants.


Two of the assailants hit Heigis in the head, stabbed him and cut his throat on the side of the road, killing him.


Blandón 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.


Earlier this week, officials also told reporters that they were ruling out Heigis’ killing as being drug-related.


Family and friends were unaware of marriage


Heigis was legally married to Blandón, but had apparently kept the fact a secret from his entire family and friends, including daughter Joanna Mong, who only recently learned of her father’s marriage by US Embassy officials after Heigis’ death.


A search conducted previously using a passport number of Heigis’ obtained by Inside Costa Rica returned no marriage records.


“He told no one. Not even his closest friends, his mother nor his sister,” Mong told Inside Costa Rica. 


False reports


Mong also told Inside Costa Rica that a report today by La Nacion which said her father was a small aircraft pilot are false, saying that learning to fly was simply a dream of her father’s.


Mong also said reports that Heigis had flown on private aircraft are false.   


“He was of simple means,” she said, adding that her father’s typical stay in Costa Rica was three months, “unless he ran out of money, which he almost did last year.”



Officials rule out drugs in murder of American citizen

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

Mystery surrounds killing of American citizen near La Fortuna

costa rica news

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  • disgusted

    Trying to wrap my head around this. Disturbing to think why? Was he just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Then no robbery? Leaving a witness his wife! I guess you start with inner circle her then work outwards. I hope this can get solved. And bring some sort of resolution for the family. Again my sincere condolence.

  • expatin paradise

    I questioned this earlier when it was reported but unknown if this woman was the wife, but now that she is confirmed as his wife it looks even more suspicious. The spouse is always first suspect in a murder, especially in this case since she would be the heir to any of this man’s assets here in CR. In this case, nobody knew about the wife, a young Nica, who was there and inexplicably spared along with the wad of cash this man had on him. When I was involved with a Nica, all my friends warned me that I would end up like this man; so I’m sure that they will look closely at her – there is more racism here than most people acknowledge..

    • Rochard

      Its not really racism, more “realism”. While theres alot of nice, normal nicas, the majority are bad people. Its just how they were raised, like Somalians. Same thing with Colombians, nearly every Colombian woman is a hooker and most men are criminals. Ticos, while overwhelmingly lazy and full of excuses, are generally good people. Next girl you pick, make it a Tica and you will be better off (or have a better chance of surviving).

      • expatin paradise

        I suspect that you’re painting with too broad a brush, but, regardless, making racist or ethnocentric generalizations is standing on dangerous ground. I’ve had Ticas, too, with less than optimal results (although I wasn’t robbed, I was thrown out of my house by one on a bogus order of protection). I have also had a good relationship with a woman originally from Colombia who worked her way up from having nothing to a doctorate degree and good position (without hooking), although it wasn’t in CR.

        Some Ticos, including many of my friends, blame all the crime and other social ills here on Nicas and Colombians despite the fact that crime statistics show that Ticos commit much more crime. Of course, it could be that the Nicas and Colombians get away with more crime, but I doubt that many Ticos would give them credit with being smart enough to get away with more crime than Ticos.

        As with most prejudices, it takes only one “bad apple” to confirm a pre-existing opinion, putting the stink on the entire barrel. That having been said, it is also possible that CR draws a disproportionate number of thieving Nicas and Hooking Colombianas – after all, the draw of a higher standard of living, a thriving gringo tourism industry, and legal prostitution probably look like a great opportunity from impoverished Nicaragua or civil war-torn Colombia.

        • Anthony

          Too “Broad a brush?” He’s using a roller.
          Why is it that Nicaragua is considered the safest country in Central America?

          • Rochard

            Nicaragua is a hell hole. Where do you get that its the safest country in Central America? LOL… ever been to Managua?

          • Anthony


            Yes I have been to Managua many times. Read the above link. Google “Nicaragua safest country in Central America” see what you come up with.
            Have you ever been to Managua? I think you’re confusing Managua with Manhattan.

          • Frank Castle

            Your link is to a White Supremacist, Racist Group. I could care less about someone’s race, creed or color just a person’s actions. You had better look into that group’s history. By the way, I’m a Conservative Constitutionalist so I’m no Liberal or Progressive. Your post will lose a lot of credibility with that kind of link.

          • Rochard

            Is this a joke? You quoted from a white supremacy site as your source? LOL

    • Anthony

      I don’t think it has anything to do with race, it has more to do with inheritance and/or a life insurance policy.
      Several years ago and elderly Dutchman was setup by his young wife/girlfriend, but they were caught. Also, if this guy didn’t tell his family in the States about his marriage, it’s obvious his wife knows more about him than they do, he might be wealthier than his family thinks. The $1900.00 that was not taken may have been intentional,so as to throw off the police. There may be much more elsewhere.

      • expatin paradise

        As to your roller argument, I agree, but I was trying to maintain civility – actually, he tossed the bucket at the wall. I don’t know where you heard that Nicaragua was the safest Central American country, though. Everything I have read ranks CR first in safety.

        I didn’t mean to imply that the killing was racially motivated. My comments re race had to do with the attitudes toward Nicas. It really doesn’t matter if this guy was rich even by Tico standards – the term is relative. To an average Nicaraguan, someone who owns a modest home here and has some money for food is rich. The fact that the money was not taken certainly indicates that robbery was not a motive. The fact that the wife was left as a witness (whether the killers used masks or not) and unharmed is very suspicious. Since the woman was his wife, she would get all of the man’s assets in Costa Rica and who knows what else. If the wife is behind this, there could be a number of motives beyond the CR assets – perhaps she wanted to live in the US and he didn’t want to take her there; perhaps he decided that the marriage was a mistake. First, we must wait to see if the OIJ charges anyone. Unless the family in the US does a lot of prodding, it will probably remain “unsolved.”

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