Details about why an international warning was issued for Alfred Saunders, 20, remain unclear as law enforcement agencies in Costa Rica and England decline to explain.
Saunders, an British native, is being held in Costa Rica following the brutal stabbing murder of 22-year-old tourist Alexandra Drbohlavova in a region near the Nicaraguan border Dec. 27. Saunders was allowed into Costa Rican by border officials in Peñas Blancas only one day before the murder despite him having an International Police Organization, INTERPOL, alert declaring him dangerous.
The report characterized Saunders as dangerous with a propensity toward suicide and sexual abuse, especially with minors. The report indicated he was a possible culprit wanted for homicide, sexual crimes and arms and possession of firearms and explosives. He was considered to be mentally unstable as well, possibly due to schizophrenia. All this information was available to border officials, according to Costa Rican immigration and law enforcement agencies.
But what prompted the green notice is yet to be determined. The world INTERPOL headquarters in Lyon, France, called the General Secretariat, would also not elaborate on the alert, claiming in a statement that the information about Saunders, even if they had it, did not belong to them.
“If or when police in any of INTERPOL’s 190 member countries share information with the General Secretariat in Lyon in relation to investigations and fugitives, this information remains under the ownership of that member country,” the statement reads. “INTERPOL does not therefore comment on specific cases or individuals except in special circumstances and with approval of the member country concerned.”
INTERPOL agents stationed in San José and INTERPOL agents headquartered in London, who should be privy to the
information, would not provide further explanation as to the basis for such an alert.
The Crown Prosecution Service in England provided what could be a slight glimpse into the young man’s past. They responded to an inquiry about his criminal record by stating that a database search in London revealed a record for an Alfred Saunders of the same age who had been involved in a case with the local police regarding indecent images.
“In this case,” the statement reads, “CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) London was asked by police to advise in relation to possession of a very small number of allegedly indecent images of adults. These images were found to not be indecent, and therefore the CPS advised in October 2011 that the police take no further action with regards to this case.”
But the agency would provide no further details and claimed it could not even confirm if it was the same Saunders.
The London Metropolitan Police, who have jurisdiction in the area where Saunders lived with his mother before leaving England, also refused a request for the criminal history or background insight into the murder suspect.
A press agent with the London Metropolitan Police said Thursday the agency would not comment at all about Saunders and had been asked by INTERPOL not to do so. A different press agent for the same law enforcement agency had said the day before that communication between the two agencies was extremely rare.
Phone calls and emails to the office at King’s College in London where Saunders’ father, Harvard educated Max Saunders, works as a English professor were not answered. Phone calls to the house where Saunders is listed in the phone book as a resident with his mother, Catia Galatariotou, a psychoanalyst, were not answered either. An inquiry was pending Thursday into the English court record history of Saunders.