Trio held in Jacó murder of Canadian and employee

Investigators detained three men Tuesday in the double murder of businessman Jacques Cloutier and his long-time ranch hand.

Two of the suspects were detained in their homes in Quebrada Amarilla near the murder scene. A third was detained in Guadalupe in the Central Valley, said the Judicial Investigating Organization.

The dead men are Jacques Cloutier, 59, identified as a Canadian and a cattleman, and Luis Antonio Angulo Díaz, 70, a long-time employee from La Cruz in Guanacaste. Cloutier was a major home builder in Florida who defaulted on $100 million in loans when the economy there went sour. Cloutier had spent many years in Costa Rica and had a cattle operation in Osa. He and Angulo were reported to be in Jacó to purchase land and brand cattle. Angulo had come from La Cruz to help.

The bodies were discovered about 5 a.m. May 14,
a Saturday. Both men were in the front seats of a Toyota vehicle. Cloutier was shot in the neck and Angulo in the left ear, agents determined.

The Judicial Investigating Organization said that agents in its Garabito regional office made the arrest. The murder scene, Quebrada Amarilla, is near Jacó. Agents said they confiscated important evidence when they made the arrests. At the time of his death, Cloutier was being sued in Costa Rican court to execute a Florida court judgment.

The Judicial Investigating Organization and the Poder Judicial have not yet identified the suspects. But informal sources said that the killings stemmed from the abortive sale of some cattle to Cloutier.

It was known at the time of the murders that he asked Angulo to accompany him to brand some cattle he was purchasing. One of the suspects is believed to have accepted payment but defaults on delivery of cattle.

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