Costa Rica police say suspect in murder of US volunteer worker was romantic partner

December 16, 2015

A 24-year-old Costa Rican man who police say was in a two-year “informal romantic relationship” with Sondra Elizondo has been arrested as the primary suspect in the murder of the 45-year-old U.S. aid worker, according to a Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) spokesman. Elizondo’s body was found on Dec. 9 in a bed at Casa 69 hotel in the popular neighborhood Barrio La California, just east of downtown San José. She had multiple stab wounds to the neck and body.

Police arrested the suspect, surnamed Obando Vega, at a supermarket in the San José suburb of Guadalupe on Thursday at 2 p.m., some 24 hours after the murder was believed to have happened. Investigators then raided the suspect’s house in Coronado, located northeast of the capital, where they found items that belonged to Elizondo, the spokesman told The Tico Times.

Obando Vega was sent to preventive prison on Thursday, a spokeswoman from the Chief Prosecutor’s Office said, where he could remain until June 2016 while the investigation into Elizondo’s murder continues.

Elizondo entered the country on Dec. 5 to attend meetings on behalf of Vida Volunteer, the nonprofit organization she co-founded, which sets up mobile medical clinics in needy communities in Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Guatemala. She was then scheduled to travel to Nicaragua, Vida Volunteer communications manager Ana Salas told The Tico Times.

Elizondo’s brother Gregg Payne told The Tico Times that a memorial service is planned for Sunday in Elizondo’s home of Merritt Island, Florida. Elizondo leaves behind two teenage children.

“I couldn’t believe it when I heard the news,” Payne said. “She was just a great person.”

You may be interested

5 questions for a Quepos theater company
Uncategorized
221 views
Uncategorized
221 views

5 questions for a Quepos theater company

Elizabeth Lang - November 19, 2017

Quepos, a town on Costa Rica's Pacific coast and the gateway to the renowned Manuel Antonio National Park, has experienced…

Multipurpose malinche, an attractive and useful ornamental
Home Gardening
950 views
Home Gardening
950 views

Multipurpose malinche, an attractive and useful ornamental

Ed Bernhardt - November 18, 2017

Here’s another attractive ornamental that’s a favorite Costa Rican backyard patio shrub. You’ll find malinche (Caesalpinia pulcherrima) growing in just…

Costa Rican Friday Happy Hour #3: ‘El Otro Gol’
It's the weekend!
4547 views
It's the weekend!
4547 views

Costa Rican Friday Happy Hour #3: ‘El Otro Gol’

Katherine Stanley - November 17, 2017

Maybe it was this morning's story on what to expect at the World Cup 2018, now that the field of…