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U.S. Couple Drowns After Boat Sinks

May 6, 2005

POLICE detained one of the U.S.Federal Bureau of Investigation’s ten most wantedmen in the pre-dawn hoursTuesday morning in front of the Hotel DelRey in downtown San José, the Ministry ofPublic Security announced.The detainee, Russell Winstead, 40, issuspected of killing his 85-year-old aunt,U.S. businesswoman Anne Mae Branson,in her home in Madisonville, Kentucky. Heallegedly stabbed Branson 80 times Jan.12, 2003 and stole $12,000 from her,according to a ministry statement.A gambling aficionado, Winstead wasdetained by San José and InternationalPolice (INTERPOL) just after midnightoutside the Del Rey, where he had beengambling with a friend, according to theministry press office.WINSTEAD was featured on the populartelevision program “America’s MostWanted.”According to the program’s Web site,Branson owned more than 40 rental properties.Financial records show she waslending her nephew, Winstead, an “inordinate”amount of money. No record existedof Winstead paying back the money untiltwo day’s before her death, when herledgers indicate she received a $12,000check from her nephew. However, thecheck was never deposited and cops saidthat if it had, it would have bounced. Thecheck was never found, according to theprogram.The day after the check was reportedlygiven to Branson, and the day before thealleged murder, Winstead was reportedlycaught on surveillance cameras at a high-stakesblackjack game, and he allegedlylost $10,000 that night, according toAmerica’s Most Wanted.Police say Winstead, a father of three,is addicted to gambling. He is believed tohave lost more than $1 million in 2002,according to the ministry statement.U.S. tourists David Mahnke, 63, andKarol Joyce Mahnke, 61, drowned Wednesdaymorning after a huge wave struckthe sportsfishing boat they were on, saidpolice officer Joaquín Cháves, from theQuepos Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ).The Wisconsin couple – not wearinglife vests – was washed off the boat andinto the Pacific Ocean near the mouth ofthe Savegre River, 15 miles from the centralPacific port-town of Quepos, atapproximately 11 a.m., Cháves said.Officials from the National CoastGuard and the Public Security Ministryrescued captain Alder Alvarez and sailorJonathan Mackenzie of the Fly Fisher –the boat that suffered the mishap.Boat owner Marlene Vargas declinedto comment about the incident.The boat captain and Mackenzie, whobarely made it ashore after jumping intothe ocean in an attempt to rescue the couple,presented only minor traumas and didnot need to be transferred to the hospital,said Daniel Miranda, from the QueposRed Cross.After being alerted about the accidentat 11:07 a.m., the Quepos Coast Guardarrived at the site of the shipwreck atapproximately 12:30 p.m. in an inflatableboat. The Coast Guard had to borrow thisboat from the Quepos Fire Departmentbecause all the other boats were either onduty elsewhere or out of service. TheCoast Guard worked alongside anotherboat, “La Bendición” to rescue the survivors,according to Fabián Meza,spokesman for the Security Ministry.Joaquín Oviedo, from the QueposCoast Guard, said river mouths, althoughchoice spots for sportsfishing, are “verycomplicated areas with strong currents,especially during high tide.”Authorities pulled the Mahnkes’ bodiesin from the ocean by the Quepos harborat 3:45 p.m., Red Cross spokesmanOlman Castro said.The couple was staying at LaMansión Inn, in Quepos.

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