Six-month preventive detention sentences for seven suspects charged in the killing last May of sea turtle conservationist Jairo Mora will expire in February, Costa Rica’s Prosecutor’s Office told The Tico Times this week. Prosecutors say they will seek to extend those preventative sentences during court hearings on the days they expire.
On Feb. 1, suspects with the last names Salmon, Delgado, Cash, Arauz, Quesada and Centeno will have served out the six-month sentences, and a seventh suspect, also with the last name Salmon, was arrested later and is set for release on Feb. 9.
The Prosecutor’s Office also told The Tico Times that investigators may have DNA evidence linking one of the suspects to the murder. Preliminary studies on hair follicles from the crime scene could belong to one of the suspects. These preliminary tests are not conclusive, and only further studies will be permissible for use in trial.
The investigation is still in its preparatory stages and prosecutors did not have information on a trial date.
In Costa Rica, suspects are sentenced to periods of preventive detention while prosecutors build a case. If those sentences expire, a judge can rule to extend them or release the suspects.