Judicial investigators have confirmed the discovery of human remains in the Parque Nacional Corcovado. The remains are presumed to be those of Cody Roman Dial, an Alaskan outdoorsman who vanished there nearly two years ago.
Reports from forensic examination, including DNA, still are pending, but investigators base their preliminary identification on items found nearby.
Parque Nacional Corcovado is one of the most primitive sections of Costa Rica, and it is full of predators, human or otherwise.
The Anchorage native was confirmed to have checked out of a Puerto Jiménez hotel July 18, 2014. The last contact he had with relatives back home was through a later email he sent to his father, advising him that he would be kayaking through the park and possibly starting at Río Conte.
The Judicial Investigating Organization was quick to point out over the weekend that Dial entered the park without a guide or without informing park rangers. There were extensive searches conducted after he vanished.
His father came to Costa Rica from Alaska. The elder Dial is an accomplished explorer and biologist listed on National Geographic’s explorer program, which funds discovery projects and research across the world.
Investigators said the location the remains were near Quebrada Doctor between Cerro Tigre and Cerro Los Negritos in the heart of the park.
The younger Dial was 27 when he vanished, and he was presumed to be in good health. Pathologists will try to determine how he died.
Investigators said they were informed of the discovery of remains Friday and mounted an
expedition into the park Saturday. They reported that the team took six hours to reach the location.
The team reached the site Saturday afternoon, and Sunday morning they began processing the scene. They reported they found tennis shoes, the container of a tent, a small pack and a compass, among other items.
They were supposed to leave the park Sunday afternoon. They said that one of the members of the team was from the U.S. Embassy.
There was no word on who found the remains, although the park is frequented by illegal hunters, gold panners and even drug smugglers.
The animals include pumas and jaguars.
The park is on the Osa peninsula in extreme southwest Costa Rica. Parts of the park never have been explored because of the dense jungle and wetlands.