Investigators finding connections among Osa crimes

Investigators are coming to the conclusion that a number of serious crimes on the Osa peninsula are related. That is in contrast to the original theories that a string of murders were motivated by unrelated events.

There also appears to be a relationship between recent home invasions and suspects in the murder of Lisa Artz, the resident manager of Casa Tres Palmas on the east shore of the Osa peninsula who was found dead July 20.

There are four suspects. The Juzgado Penal de Golfito ordered three of them held for six months investigation. They were identified by the last names of González Granados and Chaves Barquero, both men, and a woman with the last names of Sánchez Núñez. The fourth suspect has not been identified fully.

Informal reports say that evidence from the murder of Kimberley Ann Blackwell, who was found murdered Feb. 2, have surfaced in the homes of some of the Artz suspects. Other reports say that one of the suspects in the Artz murder has been involved with trying to sell items taken in a home invasion in June. Investigators have been
tight-lipped on the investigation, and the bulk of the information comes form the Judicial Investigating Organization central offices in San José.

The crimes center on Puerto Jiménez on the Osa peninsula not far from Parque Nacional Corcovado. The usually quiet area has seen more than its share of killings in the last six months. There also was the 2009 case of two Austrian residents, Horst Hauser, 68, and Herbert Langmeier, 66. They vanished, although agents believe they have now recovered some remains.

Ms. Artz was killed in Matapalo, some 12 miles south of Puerto Jiménez. Ms. Blackwell lived in a rural area near the national park.

The multiple crimes caused a wave of fear in the area, and at least one resident moved to the Central Valley after being a home invasion victim.

In the Artz case, when agents conducted a raid to detain two of the individuals, they found a computer and other items that will be used as evidence. These include power cords from appliances that had been in the possession of the victim, agents said.

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