San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Czech woman missing, friends fear worst

Czech Republic citizen Barbara Struncova has been missing from her residence in Tamarindo since the early morning hours of Dec. 5. According to sources close to Struncova, she attended a party with friends on the night of Dec. 4 and returned home around 1a.m. on the morning of Dec. 5. She has not been seen since.

On the night of Dec. 4, Struncova, 31, went to a party with several friends who were visiting from the Czech Republic. She was accompanied by her boyfriend, U.S. citizen Bill Ulmer, who sources say returned home early from the party claiming that he was frustrated by his inability to communicate with the Czech visitors. Struncova’s friends report that around 1 a.m. on the morning of Dec. 5, she returned to her residence, where she lived with Ulmer and four other roommates.

“At 1 a.m. that night we watched her walk inside the house,” said a source close to Struncova who asked to remain anonymous. “By 7 a.m. that morning, Dec. 5, Bill woke up and told us that Barbara had left with her friends in the middle of the night to go to the Caribbean side of Costa Rica.”

In the days following her disappearance, worried members of Struncova’s family contacted her friends in Tamarindo. The last time family members heard from her was Dec. 4.

Struncova’s belongings are still in her Tamarindo residence.

“She seemed really happy here. I had lunch with her two days before she disappeared or left town, and she told me that she was still really enjoying living here,” said Helena Fogarty, a friend. “Two days later she disappeared and her boyfriend told us that she took off to travel with friends in Limón. She hadn’t mentioned [the trip] to me.”

In late December, the Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) launched an investigation into Struncova’s disappearance. A representative of the OIJ confirmed to The Tico Times that immigration officials had no record of Struncova leaving the country since Dec. 4.

In Tamarindo, Ulmer, Struncova’s boyfriend, has not been seen since late December. Sources close to the case say they have spoken with Ulmer, and that he has returned to his home state of North Carolina, in the U.S.

The OIJ is asking anyone with information on Struncova’s disappearance to contact them at: 1-800-8000-645, or visit the Find Barbara Struncova Facebook page created for tips.  or the blog website: Help Find Barbara Struncova.

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