Investigators are checking the business career of Bobby Cox in an effort to locate the individual or individuals who ordered his murder.
Cox, a one-time associate of fugitive fraudster Luis Enrique Villalobos, died in an assassination Tuesday night in San Miguel de Santo Domingo de Heredia. Police said he held Filipino nationality, although many expats who knew him thought he was a U.S. citizen.
The killing was not random. Agents believe that more than one gunman was involved and that they intercepted a vehicle driven by Cox by using one or more motorcycles. Nearly a dozen bullets were fired at the vehicle, and many hit Cox. It appears that he was shot repeatedly in the head at close range, said the Judicial Investigating Organization.
Agents said that the killing was not a robbery because the victim’s personal effects were not taken.
Cox, was known as Bobby Gold to hundreds of expats. He claimed to be in continual contact with Villalobos until about two years ago.
Neighbors in the vicinity of the killing notified authorities about 11 p.m., and police found Cox in his Chevrolet Avalanche near an electrical substation in San Miguel.
Cox, 51 when he died, had been in a business relationship with Villalobos, who operated a high interest money borrowing operation known as The Brothers until late 2002 when he fled. Cox, himself, was said to have tried to pick up where Villalobos and his brother left off and started his own money-borrowing operation that offered 3 percent interest per month. But the business was unsuccessful and some expats complained of losing their money there, too.
When Enrique Villalobos fled, Cox continued to try to rally the investors and held meetings at his home. He told investors that he was in close contact with Villalobos, but that never was established conclusively. He was believed to be one of the Villalobos supporters who convinced many investors to refrain from filing criminal charges with the expectation that the fugitive would return to pay them off.
Cox also was believed to be involved in other international business dealings. He also was said to be involved in the operation of a second-division soccer club in Guanacaste. Agents said that Cox lived near the scene of the shooting, and that his family had sought police protection.
*Part of this story appeared in an afternoon update Tuesday.