San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Public Defender Arrested, Suspected in Wife’s Slaying

Officials arrested public defender Luis Fernando Burgos Friday and ordered him to six months in preventive detention while he is investigated in connection with the murder of his wife, Maureen Hidalgo.

Hidalgo was found dead July 16 in a ditch in a rural area outside the west Central Valley town of Atenas (TT, July 21).

In addition, a public prosecutor has been temporarily suspended while officials investigate whether she aided Burgos in some way in the crime, the daily La Nación reported. Citing a source close to the investigation, the daily said Burgos contacted the prosecutor, who was not named, and two other businessmen – one a former client – allegedly looking for help to dispose of his wife’s body, though they all refused. The testimony provided by all three gave the government the evidence it needed to arrest Burgos, La Nación reported.

Hidalgo, a judicial assistant, was reported missing by Burgos July 13, saying she had not been seen since July 11. That same night, Chief Prosecutor Francisco Dall’Anese received an anonymous phone call saying Burgos had murdered his wife, according to the daily La Nación.

Burgos insists he is innocent and says he has cooperated with every request the Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) has made of him.


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