Who dumped bodyof a man off road near the Zurquí tunnel?

Mauricio Durán

For some reason murderers favor the drop off leading up to the Zurquí tunnel as a place to dispose of bodies. This is the tunnel that is on Ruta 32 that leads north from San José on the way to Guápiles and then Limón. The highway is not traveled heavily at night, and the drop off is steep.

But not steep enough in the case of a young man who was spotted by passersby about 8 a.m. Sunday. There is no firm identification yet, but investigators believe this is the body of a man whose family reported him missing 10 days ago. The missing man is Mauricio José Durán Badilla. The body wore similar clothing, investigators said.

Although the body was just 30 meters, just short of 100 feet, from the level of the roadway, rescue workers took four hours to extricate it Sunday from heavy brush. Agents said they thought the body had been there awhile.

The Durán case is unusual because it does not appear that the young man, 25, was engaged in any illegal activity.

The Judicial Investigating Organization sent out a bulletin on the missing man Oct. 12, just four days after he vanished.

Agents have to start this investigation without any clear motive. Typically robbers do not go to the trouble of hauling off their victims to an isolated spot. Agents have not reported if the body found Sunday had personal effects, such as a cell telephone or money.

In Costa Rica if there is no body there is no crime, so a killer has an incentive to get rid of a victim.

A neighbor discovered another man dead Sunday morning. That was in Ticabán in La Rita de Pococí.

The 50-year-old man has not yet been identified formally. He was found in the public right-of-way with machete slashes. One arm had been severed. Persons in the area heard a noisy dispute Saturday night and think that was when the man died.

A dispute in Jacó Sunday morning is being blamed for the death of a man there. A 29 year old with the last name of Gallego died in central Jacó about 6:30 a.m., said the Judicial Investigating Organization.

The dispute was about a woman, said agents, and the second person in the argument pulled out a pistol and shot Gallego in the head. He was hospitalized but died later at Hospital Monseñor Sanabria in Puntarenas.

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