San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
Crime Beat

Costa Rica police analyze burned bones found on property of missing U.S. citizen

Costa Rica’s Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) said Friday that it had discovered burned remains, apparently human, on the property of U.S. citizen Robert Stewart, 72, who was reported missing on Thursday.

Agents arrived at the property, located in the southwestern San José canton of Puriscal, following reports from three people who said they saw traces of blood and the corpse of one of Stewart’s dogs with a wound likely caused by a firearm.

They told investigators they went to the man’s house after several unsuccesful attempts to contact him by phone since Tuesday, OIJ’s spokesman Marco Monge said Friday.

OIJ detectives inspected the property and found another dead dog and some burnt bones and apparent firewood inside a 60-square-meter burn area. Monge told The Tico Times that the detectives also found firearm parts and what appeared to be remnants of bullets at the scene.

The evidence collected at the site was sent for forensic analysis.

“The investigation is ongoing, and at this point we can’t confirm that the remains actually belong to Stewart,” Monge said Friday afternoon.

The OIJ said Stewart may have killed himself. The three people who filed the missing person report told investigators that Stewart had been acting strangely lately and had stopped taking his prescription medication and said he planned to commit suicide.

They said Stewart had lived in Costa Rica for about 12 years.

Contact L. Arias at larias@ticotimes.net

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