Arrests made in case of murdered Dutch couple and laborer

November 30, 2016
1 Comments

Officials from the Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) arrested four people Wednesday morning in connection with a triple murder in Sardinal, Puntarenas that happened nearly a year ago.

After a series of early morning raids throughout Puntarenas province, investigators said they’ve been able to link those arrested to the January murder of Johannes “Hans” Snelders of Holland, his wife Sita Dhawtal of Suriname, and Rivar Avenec Montalbán of Nicaragua, who worked at Snelder’s expansive farm called Finca La Flecha in Sardinal.

The three bodies were found at the ranch in Sardinal on Jan. 4, 2016.

Authorities said Wednesday that the four men arrested were all suspected of committing seven similar break-ins after the brutal triple murder. These additional crimes took place between May and October of this year in different parts of Puntarenas and one in Orotina, Alajuela. A fifth suspect believed to be involved is already in preventive prison on accusations of similar crimes, the OIJ release said.

In one of the 11 raids Wednesday morning in the district of El Roble, officers were met with gunfire. One of the arrested men ended up with a bullet wound to his leg.

According to an OIJ report, investigators found pistols, jewelry, cell phones, and other articles that were reported stolen from recent break-ins.

Snelders and Dhawtal had a timber business focused on growing trees and selling wood from their 400-hectare plantation. Snelders created a corporation for the Sardinal property in 2007 and had been a temporary resident of Costa Rica since 2013, according to authorities.

When the bodies were found, their hands were tied and the corpses were in a state of decomposition, which made it complicated to determine the cause of death. OIJ reported at the time that Snelders appeared to have been struck on the head.

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

Safe travels in Costa Rica: aiming for the sweet spot
Travel & Tourism
55 views
Travel & Tourism
55 views

Safe travels in Costa Rica: aiming for the sweet spot

Katherine Stanley - March 26, 2019

Traveling in Costa Rica is one of life’s great privileges, and The Tico Times has been proud to inspire, guide…

2019 Gold Cup field finalized; Costa Rica will host two matches
Costa Rica
392 views
Costa Rica
392 views

2019 Gold Cup field finalized; Costa Rica will host two matches

Alejandro Zúñiga - March 26, 2019

The field for the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup is set. Costa Rica, the United States, Mexico, Honduras, Panama, and Trinidad…

A pilgrimage for a saint: El Salvador mourns
Central America
729 views
Central America
729 views

A pilgrimage for a saint: El Salvador mourns

AFP - March 25, 2019

Hundreds of Salvadorans paid tribute this weekend to their first saint, San Salvador Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero, murdered 39 years…