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Four arrested, including police officer, in connection to 2009 murder of two foreigners

May 23, 2012

Four suspects, including a National Police officer, were arrested in connection to a brutal murder of two Austrians in 2009 in the southwestern Osa Peninsula.

Horst Hauser, 67, and Herbert Langmeier, 65, disappeared from the port town of Puerto Jiménez in December 2009. DNA tests identified remains found on the beach in Puerto Jiménez  in 2011 as the bodies of Hauser and Langmeier. The positive results confirming Langmaier’s remains came last week after Costa Rican authorities sent genetic information to Austria. The Prosecutor’s Office said the remains matched with the DNA of Langmaier’s sister and mother.

The two Austrian citizens appeared to have been bludgeoned to death by a blunt object. One of victims had a broken jaw, while the other showed brain trauma after multiple blows to the head, according to a Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) report.

OIJ agents detained a police officer with the last name of Obando on Tuesday afternoon. On Monday, authorities arrested a 33-year-old man named Muñoz, a 24-year-old man named Murillo and a 29-year-old woman named Rojas. In August 2011, another suspect turned himself in after hiding in the mountains for months. He is believed to be the brother of the woman arrested Monday.

The brother Rojas was the prime suspect in the investigation since January 2010, when he was seen driving Hauser and Lagmeier’s car days after their disappearance. He also withdrew more than $5,000 from the bank accounts of the two victims.

Hauser and Langmeier were retired and arrived to Costa Rica from Knittelfeld, Austria. Officials said the motive for the suspects was a land grab, as the alleged murderers hoped to take over the property of the Austrians.

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