A Salvadoran man recently deported from the United States appears to be the principal suspect in the murder of a woman at a San José hotel, authorities said.
Prosecutors say the suspect entered the hotel early Saturday morning with the woman. Romero then left the hotel alone an hour later and told hotel workers that his companion was bathing and that he would return shortly. When he never came back, workers went to check the room where he had taken the woman.
There, they found the victim’s lifeless body sprawled over the bed with clear strangulation marks on her neck, said , Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) homicide chief Alvaro González in a Monday press conference. Further inspection showed that a bone in her neck had also been broken, González added.
González identified the suspect by the last names Romero Robles and said he was living in Los Angeles, California when U.S. authorities deported him back to El Salvador in September of 2016. A few days later, he entered Costa Rica through the border with Nicaragua.
Police found the suspect during a Monday morning raid on a house in Alajuelita, a canton on the southwest side of San José. There, they also located the cell phone that apparently belonged to the female victim.
Authorities identified the victim as a 26-year-old with the last names Guerrero Delgado, from San Antonio de Escazú.
González said Romero has overstayed his 90-day tourist visa after entering Costa Rica through the Peñas Blancas border via bus on September 25, 2016.
Costa Rican authorities said they do not know why Romero was deported from the United States.