It’s not our fault, Patronato says of murders

In the wake of any tragedy, there always is the blame game.

So the Patronato Nacional de la Infancia, the child welfare agency, tried Wednesday to distance itself from any blame in the murder of three children along with their parents in Mata Palo, Santa Cruz.

This is the case discovered Tuesday that involved a U.S. expat and his Costa Rican wife.

The Patronato said that case agents visited the home twice in the last year but did not find problems. In February 2015 an investigator followed up on a neighborhood complaint of abandonment and neglect, but found that the father, Dirk Bouchamp, was caring for them.

The case worker reported that the mother, Jessica Durán, had been detained for failing to provide funds for yet another child that was in the care of a grandparent. The report said that Bouchamp was filling a very positive role, said the Patronato.

In November, a non-government agency filed a complaint about the actions of the mother. A Patronato checkup again found that the children were under the care of the father, the agency said.

Despite the positive reports of the Patronato, there are claims now by neighbors of violence and aggression, mostly blaming the mother and her live-in boyfriend, Adrián Salmerón Silva, who is the prime suspect in the case. He fled.

Bouchamp is the father of a 3 year old who survived with serious injuries including a knife wound to the head. The assailant spared his own 3 month old child, who also survives.

Three other children, girls 13 and 6 and a boy 8, died.

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