San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
Missing Person

Human remains in Corcovado could belong to missing US hiker Cody Dial

Update: Friday, May 20, 6:06 p.m. 

Police say it is “very likely” that human remains found in Costa Rica’s remote Corcovado National Park belong to 27-year-old U.S. hiker Cody Dial, who has been missing since 2014.

Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) Director Walter Espinoza told reporters that locals and national park rangers informed police Friday morning that human remains had been found inside the park, in the southwestern Osa Peninsula. The remains were found outside the bounds of the previous Red Cross and OIJ searches for Dial.

On Saturday morning, a forensic team will hike into the park to conduct an investigation and collect the remains.

Items found with the remains included tennis shoes and camping gear, among other belongings. Espinoza said these items matched descriptions Dial’s parents gave to police.

One of the items found with the remains discovered Friday, May 20, 2016 in Corcovado National Park.

The Tico Times

Alexis Sullivan, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Embassy in San José,  told The Tico Times that a team from the embassy was en route to review the site with the OIJ forensic team.

Sullivan said the embassy could not speculate on any possible connection with Cody Dial until Costa Rican authorities have confirmed the identity of the remains.

Espinoza said he could not comment on the cause of death until forensic experts review the remains.

Dial, the son of famed Alaskan adventurer Roman Dial, went missing in July 2014 while hiking in a remote part of Corcovado National Park. An email that Dial sent to his parents suggested that he would be hiking on back country gold mining trails rather than entering the park through one of the ranger stations.

The Red Cross and the country’s Aerial Vigilance Service conducted two weeks of ground and air searches before suspending the rescue mission. Roman Dial then continued the search for his son, by rappelling with friends into canyons within the park. Finding nothing, Dial turned to a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for a trip to Darien, Panama, where his son was planning to go after Costa Rica.

Cody Dial has been missing since July 2014. He had been hiking in Corcovado National Park in southern Costa Rica before his disappearance.

(Via GoFundMe)

The discovery of the remains comes just days before the National Geographic documentary series “Missing Dial” is set to air. The documentary, which begins Sunday, May 22, follow’s Roman Dial’s eight-month search in Costa Rica, accompanied by private investigators, which concluded in March.

OIJ Director Espinoza said the documentary had nothing to do with the timing or the discovery of the remains.

Reached by phone, Roman Dial said the equipment shown in the photographs looks like the type of gear his son carried with him into the park. He said he believes the remains could very well belong to his son.

“I have really mixed feelings about it,” he said. “In some ways it is a relief but in other ways it is still really heartbreaking.”

Comments are closed.

Lesa Zakowski

My prayers for his family and friends. I just cannot imagine how they are feeling! The emotions that they are experiencing. It would be closure but definitely not the closure wanted. Very sad.

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Tish Wiley

R2, the truth is out there. I cant follow these stories without thinking about how knowledgable and responsible Cody is. Seems so unlikely that he would be anywhere other than where he said he would be. The Nat. Geo. cameras on Costa Rica have revealed the heart break for the Dial family and now what seem like a country desperately creating delutions of accidental death. Items found in the middle of the park at the bottom of a ravine….. A nice place to divert attention from the more likely places, like the area he was accually traveling in. Where was the backpack found in relation to the bones…..the time has passed for the results to be determined….any updates to this story? God speed there will be clarity for the family soon.

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Laura Sheldon

Sorry to say that it sound very fishy that they find his body suddenly after the show is aired. My heart breaks for this family. Our government should have been the one to force them to find him not the parents. Our government should be ashamed of there lack of envolvement and for holding his pack for 60 days with out notifying the parents. If the weren’t rich and had the media coverage they would never find out what happened. What a curupt, nasty and dangerous country to visit.

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Mike Ward

I guess I am just confused how the body could be his if the gear pack returned to the Dial family on episode 1 which just aired yesterday was that of Cody’s. Clearly they seemed to recognize the gear in the pack, most critically the 20 year old cooking apparatus in the pack. So if that pack was his then a body found in the jungle with a pack wouldn’t be Cody. Fingers crossed it isn’t him and he turns up alive in the very near future. The family deserves closure but this isn’t the result I would wish on anyone.

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Frank Smith

I hope that Cody was not the victim of foul play, in which case the family can come to peace. Thanks to all who helped with the search.

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Carrie Fouts

Hoe very sad. My thoughts and prayers are with Codys family and friends. RIP Cody.

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Carrie Fouts


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