San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

British man accused of killing 22-year-old Czech tourist in Costa Rica

A 20-year-old British man allegedly stabbed to death a Czech tourist on a farm Wednesday in Upala, in the northwest Alajuela province near the northern border. Alfred Saunders is believed to have killed the 22-year-old woman reportedly after she refused to have sex with him.

Saunders, the son of a prominent British psychologist and an English professor, had a history of sexual violence, and global police agency Interpol had a “green alert” out on the British citizen, warning about his sadistic tendencies. Reports say the alert was directed toward Nicaragua, but Costa Rican Interpol officials recommended Saunders not be let into the country. Nevertheless, immigration officials allowed him to enter the country one day before he allegedly committed the attack.

The victim, Alexandra Drbohlavova, was found by the father of the farm’s owner – also a British man – in a tent near Saunders’ own tent. Drbohlavova had stab wounds on her face, neck and chest. She had arrived in Costa Rica on Dec. 10 on a tourist visa, according to a police report.

On the night of the murder, Peter Donati, father of one of the owners, heard a noise at 10:30 p.m., the report said. He left the house and found the victim’s body in her tent. The crime took place on the Finca La Libertad, an organic farm owned by Donati’s son and his wife from the United States, according to Britian’s The Daily Telegraph.

The owners were not home at the time of the alleged attack, the newspaper reported. Peter Donati, who was vacationing in Costa Rica with other members of his family, overpowered Saunders and tied him down with vines while he alerted police.

Police confiscated a knife and bloody clothes from the suspect, the police report said. The Daily Telegraph added that Saunders had “a British ten pound note and small amounts of money from Nicaragua and Honduras, a martial arts book, a book on Fidel Castro, 16 CDs and a CD player,” and packs of pills along with a note saying Saunders had a mental illness.

According to the U.K.’s Daily Mail, Saunders turned up at the farm without notice and with few possessions, and Donati loaned him a tent for one night.

The farm has since been closed down and cordoned off by police.

The Interpol alert had warned that Saunders was wanted for “sex crimes, assault resulting in death, torture or acts of barbarism, and the possession of firearms, ammunition or explosives.” The note described Saunders as violent, a suicide risk and a person who could commit sex crimes against children.

Saunders was sentenced to six months of preventive prison while prosecutors build a case. He is incarcerated at La Reforma maximum security prison in Alajuela, northwest of San José. On Friday, a prison riot there left two inmates dead.

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