San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Suspect wanted for murders of Austrian citizens in Osa turns self in

A 25-year old man turned himself into the Puerto Jiménez public prosecutor’s office Wednesday morning in connection with the murders of Austrian citizens Horst Hauser, 67, and Herbert Langmeier, 65.

Hauser and Langmeier went missing from the port town of Puerto Jiménez in the southwest Osa Peninsula around Christmas 2009.Hauser’s remains were discovered on a Puerto Jiménez beach on March 15. Other remains believed to be Langmeier’s were also discovered, though DNA tests to confirm their identity are still pending.  

The suspect, whose last name is Rojas, arrived at the public prosecutor’s office in the presence of his lawyer. Rojas told the Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) that he spent the last several months in hiding in the mountains and chose to turn himself in due to the encouragement of his family.

Rojas was the prime suspect in the investigation since January 2010, when he was seen driving Hauser and Langmeier’s car days after their disappearance. He also withdrew over $5,000 from the bank accounts of the two victims.

“We are all very pleased that Rojas has finally been arrested,” Manfred Maurer, the representative of the Austrian consulate in Costa Rica told The Tico Times. “We’ve known of him from the very beginning and he has been a suspect since the second week when all this starting going on. He was the one taking money out of their bank accounts.”

Maurer applauded the efforts of the OIJ and said he was “extremely pleased” that the meticulous investigation caused Rojas to surrender. Maurer said that the families of the victims in Austria were notified of the arrest and also expressed their satisfaction to learn that Rojas was behind bars.

Rojas will serve nine months of preventive prison while the case is further investigated.

CORRECTION: Due to errors in the original OIJ report, the last names of the two victims were written incorrectly in the first story posted.

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