Murder in Costa Rica

Family of Five murdered in Costa Rica

Ceating HusbandThis a follow up on a murder in Costa Rica. It is a story, that frankly, has all too often been repeated here. Not necessarily ending with murder, but the consequences of making poor choices can lead to disastrous results. Although, we receive cases involving infidelity between Americans and Costa Ricans, there is a pattern of conduct that merits discussions. Understanding that everyone deserves someone special in their lives does equate to risking everything on a poor decision.

Destination and Temptation

Costa Rica is a world renowned destination for its climate, natural beauty and its women. The women here are generally attractive, polite and friendly. For the most part American men who come here are in search of a meaningful and lasting relationship. Most have passed the place in life where they are competitive in the dating market in the United States. Most have endured a broken heart either from a divorce or a death. Many are in their fifties or sixties and their choices in the States are limited to similarly situated women, who also have suffered the loneliness associated with such losses. Both bring “baggage” from their previous situation, ranging from abuse to financial trouble.

Murder in Costa Rica: Its a Job, not Love

Money LaunderingBecause of the opportunity to go somewhere and engage in a relationship with a woman that is in her twenties or thirties, who for all outward appearances is a victim of circumstance, is a temptation hard to resist. Most ignore the red flags. It should be obvious that a young attractive woman who is in the sex business is not looking for love. She is looking for financial security. In other words, it is her job. Your wellbeing, physically, emotionally and financially are at risk when you enter a relationship with such a woman.

In the case mentioned at the beginning, the news account of the Tico Times, details the background that ultimately led to this tragedy. Like many of the cases we handled, many of them begin with the American meeting a woman in one of the local watering holes that promote and allow this type of business to thrive. It is not uncommon for women to start visiting these places at as young as eighteen. By the time they are twenty four, they have had an unimaginable amount of sexual contact with countless men of whom they know or care little about.

 

Why you shouldn’t throw out your boarding pass

Never discard your boarding pass

CG logoWhenever we fly, it’s a necessity to have a boarding pass to board the airplane.

We protect them with our lives to make sure we have it readily available, but what do we usually do with them once the flight’s over?? Some leave it on the airplane; others tuck it in their pockets and put it down: others leave in the back of the seat in front of them when the exit the airplane, forgetting their whereabouts once we are done with them. I never realized that being so careless with the whereabouts of my boarding pass could potentially get me into so much trouble!

The reason? According to ‘Krebs on Security”, there’s a ton of personal information encrypted on the boarding pass. Once someone gets a screen shot of the bar code on the boarding pass you’ll be shocked at how much an unscrupulous person can discover about you: personal email addresses, home addresses, and phone numbers. From there, they can gain access to financial and banking information. Watch the video below and learn about the risks and damage you face by being careless with your boarding pass.

https://youtu.be/jM4_iz3RqE8

Take precautions to protect your boarding pass

In this day and age of perpetual technological advances and the unlimited use of smart phones your personal information is under constant bombardment from the bad guys.

Even digitally copied on your own cell phone or tablet puts you at risk of it being scanned and all of your personal information is available to the person making the search.

The best advice is that you keep it in your possession until after the flight and then when you return to your home or office make sure it is destroyed. Don’t put it in the trash and never post it to your social media.

 

 

Breaking news on Barbara Sturncova

Breaking news on Barbara Sturncova

Missing Person BarbaraBarbara Sturrncova who went missing five years ago is in the news again. Apparently her male companion, William Ulner, was arrested today while attempting to board an airplane with his new bride by the FBI. He was arrested for using a fraudulent passport.  In the past, there has been much speculation about Ulner and the role he played in Sturncova’s disappearance. No one has seen or hear from Sturncova since her disappearance and none of her bank cards have been used.

We wrote a cold case article about her and others that have mysteriously  vanished into thin air never to be seen or heard from again. Fox 31 in Denver is reporting the story. There have been several people who have tried unsuccessfully to find Sturncova but have run into dead ends.

The information we have received is that Ulner recently married and was at the airport leaving for his honeymoon when the FBI nabbed him. Information on his new wife and other information concerning his arrest has not been disclosed.

Missing Persons in Costa Rica

What to do in Locating Missing Persons in Costa Rica

Missing personLocating missing persons in Costa Rica is much different from methods and techniques used in the United States. There are numerous people that have gone missing in Costa Rica and have to date have not been found. It is important that if you find yourself in this situation, you understand that the authorities here neither have the resources or the motivation to find the missing person. The one thing that is absolutely necessary is get someone involved to start looking for the missing person. The longer the time the greater the chance that the person will not be located. Here are some tips.

 

1st Thing to do in Locating Missing Persons in Costa Rica

The first thing you should do in locating missing persons in Costa Rica is to report the incident to your local law enforcement agency. When you do so give them as much information as humanly possible. Although the local law enforcement agency will have little to lend to the search and recovery of the missing person, it is one of the first things that the American Embassy in Costa Rica will ask you. Do not delay in making the missing person report to the police. All of the cases that we have handled have had considerable time lapse between the disappearance and reporting the person missing. Each moment that passes with nothing being initiated to locate the persons further reduces the chances of the person being found.

2nd Thing to do in Locating Missing Persons in Costa Rica

Call the American Embassy in Costa Rica. If you are calling from the States dial 011-506-2519-2000 and ask for extension 2453. Alternatively if it is after business hours or the weekend, send an email to acssanjose@state.gov and provide all of the information about the missing person including but not limited to; photographs, flight itinerary, hotel reservation, date of arrival, anticipated date of departure, photographs, and the reason you suspect the person is missing.

3rd Thing to do

It is necessary that the missing person be reported as missing to the Judicial Police in Costa Rica. They are commonly referred to as OIJ. If you call them be prepared to have someone who speaks Spanish as there are no resources for English. The Costa Rica Law requires that an immediate member of the missing persons family report the incident. They will not accept the missing person report from a third party. This must be done in person by the immediate family member. Thus be prepared to make arrangements for the immediate family member to travel to Costa Rica to make the report.

Alternatively, an immediate family member can go to the nearest Costa Rica Consulate and report the person missing. They will need the same information as previously outlined for the American Embassy. This will further delay the missing person investigation as the bureaucracy of the Costa Rica government moves slowly.

The Last thing to do

Probably the most important of all is do not procrastinate in reporting the missing persons in Costa Rica. Also, equally important retain the services of a professional and reliable private investigator to begin searching immediately.  The longer the time in retaining the services of such a professional only means that the trail will colder by the minute. Years of experience has taught me that it is imperative to get on this search as soon as possible.

Conducting Surveillance in Costa Rica

Costa Rica Private InvestigatorConducting surveillance in Costa Rica presents challenges not faced by private investigators in the United States. When a client calls and wants a surveillance here in Costa Rica I try to give them reasonable expectations on the results of such a surveillance. Unlike the United States where private investigators can have sufficient time to capture indiscretions, here we usually have less than a week. In some instances even less time.

Surveillance is being in the right place at the right time and to discreetly capture the indiscretion on video. That means that the target cannot know they are being watch or their activities are being recorded. Many of the venues in Costa Rica have ramped up security in the form of CCTV and guards. They are sensitive to videoing and will not hesitate to ask what you are doing. Thus not only does the PI need to be discreet with respect to the target, they must also be discreet and vigilant as to their surroundings.

For this reason we use teams of investigators usually comprised of two or three to carry out a surveillance. There are some PI’s that are on the web that use just one person that they subcontract the surveillance. I know of one PI that was deported from Costa Rica and is advertising services here and he can’t even enter the country. Thus it pays to vet the PI and make sure he has the experience and resources to carry out the surveillance.

Recently we had a surveillance in a resort that has extremely tight security. Many of the places that people rent are in private residences within the resort and are only accessible though a guarded gate. If you are not a guest you are denied entry. The resort is patrolled by security guards who check visitors and routinely ask them their purpose for being there. Fortunately the resort rents carts which don’t draw the attention of a roaming car. Use of the cart helps but if you remain stationary for any length of time a guard will approach you. This means that you have to be on the constant move.

Targets that are involved in an affair are sensitive to seeing the same person or car more than once. This requires that you change personnel frequently. Through diligence and perseverance usually enjoy success. Many of our clients think that capturing public displays of affection are common place. Here again targets do not perform on cue. You have to be in the right place at the right time to capture PDA’s. Investigators cannot manufacture or script such activities.

All in all if you have reasonable expectations you will not be disappointed in the results. If your expectations are those that are shown on TV programs such as “Cheaters” you will be disappointed in the results. Make sure you discuss expectations and results with you private investigator in order to make your surveillance successful.

Facebook Apps Are Spying on You

Did you know that Facebooks apps are spying on you?

Facebook image

With almost everyone having a Facebook page it is not a surpeise that the creation of Facebook apps are spying on you. Recently, I came across this information from one of my coleagues and thought I would share it on my blog. With all of the issues surrounding personal privacy this blog will tell you how to delete these apps.

Deleting Facebook Apps

Log into your Facebook account and go to settings. In the left hand margin a number of actions will be displayed. Select the one that says “Apps”. When you do the “apps” page will populate listing all of the apps that are currently active on your facebook account. Many people are surprised at the number of apps listed and had no knowledge that they were linked to thier accounts. Such apps can take your information and distribute to whomever they wish.

Many of these apps are linked to your account whe you play games or participate in contest that are published on Facebook. Once you see the apps that are likely to distribute your information such as instagram or yahoo, you can delete them by checking the “X” in the upper right hand corner of the app, thus removing it from your Facebook account.

With all of the information out there about protecting your personal information, it is always a good idea to monitor and eliminate any potential for lapses in security. As technology advances the hackers and scammers are going to use every imaginable methid they can to steal from you.

From time to time we will post information concerning methods and idea on how to protect yourseld from fruadsters and scammers. By taking a few minutes to review your facebook could save you an enormous amount of grief in the future.

Private Investigator Qualities

Private Investigator Qualities to Look For

UntitledPrivate Invcestigator Qualities you should look for before pulling the trigger. Private investigators have historically played a part of our childhood fascinations, thanks to the famous detective characters strewn across modern literature. From Sherlock Holmes to Erin Brockovich, the acute observation and the unparalleled wit of these famous private investigators makes the profession attractive to many. Always accompanied with a trusted and able assistant, detectives make use of just their intellectual abilities to nab the most unusual and crafty suspects. Among the many qualities that a detective should possess, here are some of the qualities of a good private investigator.

Knowledge: A real life detective gets a variety of assignments. They range from insurance frauds, extra marital affairs, theft reports, surveillance, and so on. Accordingly a private detective should possess an extensive amount of knowledge and experience that will help them to get the job done as quickly, smoothly and efficiently as possible.

Stealth:  A detective needs to be as inconspicuous as possible. They really cannot afford to demonstrate behavior or possess some characteristic that attracts unwanted attention. Especially in cases that require prolonged surveillance, detectives have to work in an incognito mode in order to gather as much information as possible.

Courage: This is a primary trait of private investigators. They should be really crafty and street smart. A little bit of hustling abilities are needed in order to get out of tight situations. As detectives do not really have any so called authoritative backing, they need their wit to get them out of sticky situations.

Trustworthiness: Their profession demands that clients disclose delicate information to them. Detectives need to understand and respect the importance and the trust the clients bestow by providing such information and they should not disclose it in any manner. The profession demands that client secrets be kept and any disclosure amounts to serious credibility issues, even inviting lawsuits.

Decision Making: This important trait rounds up the top quality of a private detective. The job sometimes creates situations which demand thinking on the feet and quick decision making abilities keeping the short term and long term objectives in mind. Stable conclusions based on observations that would help to resolve the case need to be taken confidently.

The qualities needed to be a detective are many. But these are some of the essential characteristics that are a must for a successful foray into this interesting profession.

 

Setting Expectations for Costa Rica Infidelity Cases

This is part 2 of a blog Setting Expectations for Costa Rica Infidelity Cases

Cheater photoIn part two of setting expectations for Costa Rica infidelity cases, we will examine some of the mechanical issues of carrying out such investigations.  With the arrival of high season just around the corner we here in Costa will see an increase in inquiries about infidelity investigations. I feel that one important part of taking on a new client is setting expectations, including for cost, process, outcome, and findings. Many clients do not understand the process, including associated costs and the timeframe for gathering relevant information. I find that by setting expectations for Costa Rica infidelity cases. it is best to provide the client with sufficient information prior to commencement in order to avoid misunderstandings in the future. The investigative process utilized in these types of cases is an art not a science and as such has to be flexible as theses situations are fluid and change rapidly.

Further Recomendations and Adivce

  1. Timelines are given a realistic approach in each case as it begins to gather momentum. Initialy however the client is advised that until the target is acquired, it will take an approximate 3 – 6 hours of observation; which establishes how the target interacts in their setting. Following this a briefing is conducted with the client to establish a time line on when the investigtor will be communicating with them during the operation.
  2. Fees, costs are presented on a case by case consultation basis, after the initial intake and objectives of the clients wants andneeds. The fee is agreed upon and a non refundable contract is then entered into with the aforementioned listed as a description of services to expect.
  3. No pictures of them in bed together. Just as it is in the United States, there are privacy laws here. Usually we restrict our photographic work to videos of coduct that is vlearly egrgious or suspicious. Catching them in the sack with each otehr is not going to happen. It is not like you see on television.
  4. No Guarantee on Results, we cannot manufacture indiscretions and investigators who say they have never been made in a surveillance have not done that many surveillances or are just not being truthful. A retainer is required and additional time or cost will be approved by the client. We will maintain communication with the client via a safe phone. Do they really want to know? What will they do when they find out?
  5. We explain that there are cases where their loved is not be cheating. As previously mentioned, certain cases because of the controlling nature of the client, their loved one may just be lying to spend more time with their friends. Whether to watch a football game or just hangout, aby thing is possible is possible. Every investigation begins with the idea that the person could or could not be cheating. By explaining to our infidelity clients that once we begin to see signs (evidence) of cheating, we follow up on those leads to confirm or disprove that they are directly associated with infidelity.
  6. Each assignment brings a different cost, outcome, results and findings and are different due to the client, their loved one and the paramour involved in the matter. With the matter of children and the potential of or outcome of domestic violence, this to will reflect in this answer.
  7. Suggest counseling. A report will be given with photos and or video.
  8. The more information they provide the more cost effective and best chance of providing results.
  9. Worse case scenario at the inception of the inquiry. By the time they call us they know the answer. They just want proof.
  10. Findings and end results. It has been my experience that not all clients are ready to accept the findings abd want additional surveillance. Sometimes they are in denial and have a difficult time believing their loved one would cheat on them.
  11. Our clients are told the expectations are entirely up to the target we surveil. It all depends on the activities that taregt is engaged in during the hours of surveillance. Targets do not perform on cue! We tell our clients that domestic investigations generally cost between $2,500 & $5,000 depending on the circumstances. We have had domestic cases where we have billed more and have always had good results.

 

 

Setting Expectations for Costa Rica Infidelity Cases

Setting Expectations for Costa Rica Infidelity Cases

Cheater photo 3With the high season just around the corner we here in Costa will see an increase in inquiries about infidelity investigations. I feel that one important part of taking on a new client is setting expectations, including for cost, process, outcome, and findings. Many clients do not understand the process, including associated costs and the time frame for gathering relevant information. I find that by setting expectations for Costa Rica infidelity cases. it is best to provide the client with sufficient information prior to commencement in order to avoid misunderstandings in the future. The investigative process utilized in these types of cases is an art not a science and as such has to be flexible as theses situations are fluid and change rapidly.

Recommendations from a Costa Rica Investigator

The final results are not always what a client wants or thinks it should be.

I have had cases where we followed people off and on for months and never caught them cheating. When you report this back to the client there are some that simply think you didn’t do your job. We always tell people, just because they may exhibit signs of cheating it doesn’t always mean they are and we can’t catch people that aren’t cheating, cheating!

 

The cost is always discussed up front,

Some people think you can catch a cheating partner in 1 hour and an investigation will only cost $100.00. Rarely do we encouter circumstances that allowed us to catch a cheater within the first moment of beginning a surveillance. Frequently, it’s difficult to get people to understand that when people cheat they don’t always meet with their lover daily or even every week. So sometimes it takes a little time to discover what they are doing. Time is money! Remeber a cheater never performs on cue!

 

Results to show they are or are not cheating. I am not in the bisiness of manufacturing fabrications to show someone is cheating. I have actually had clients that have requested that I set the target up with a hooker and capture the encounter on video. Obviously I am not in the extortion business either.

 

I let the client know that I will do everything in my power to bring resolution to their problem.

Sometimes they are just wrong, and there is nothing going on. PI work is 50% luck and 50% skill. I have to be in the right place at the right time and have the knowledge to do a proper and professional job once the situation presents itself. I also emphasize as I said earlier, targets of surveillance never perform on cue. It is important once the surveillance is undertaken that the client maintain a demeanor that is consistent with their normal behavior as to not alert or raise suspicion of the target

 

Depending on the signs that raised suspicion and habits 2-3 weeks. I explain our steps to provide results depending on the questionable behavior. Optional steps moving forward after confirmation such as attorneys or counseling. The majority of surveilance here is 3-6 days. It is expensive and a budget ranging from $1,200-$5,000 should be expected. Additionally there will be expenses that are not covered in the professional fees.

I generally tell my clients that it’s difficult to uncover infidelity with less than 10 hours of surveillance. Its possible, but not likely. I suggest a minimum of 20 hours of surveillance. Assuming I’m only using one investigator on the case, that will cost a client around $3000. A thorough Costa Rica infidelity investigation will run a client a minimum of $3000. We like to have a consultation with the client prior to the surveillance in order to mete out the details of the case (surveillance schedule, physical descriptions, photographs, etc). I cannot guarantee results and we take a full retainer up front.

Timeline 1-3 days of surveillance.

No guarantees that we will find anything. Will not induce the subject into making contact. Provide them with our hourly rate and mileage rates.

I let my clients know what to expect up front so as they do not get unreasonable expectations. Cost is one of the first thing we discuss.

Every client is given a realistic set of expectations as to what my inquriry can legally engage in

That is in some cases when they ask for “off the radar” information; it is explained that in the course of conducting an investigation it serves the client’s best interest in utilizing a legally sound practice and methods. This allows all information harvested to be admissible and shared between both parties.

Cold Case Missing Persons in Costa Rica

Cold Case Missing Persons in Costa Rica Private Investigations

Missing Person Barbara  Barbara Struncova a Czech Republic citizen has been missing from her residence in Tamarindo since the early morning hours of December 5, 2010. According to sources close to Struncova, she attended a party with friends on the night of Dec. 4 and returned home around 1a.m. on the morning of Dec. 5. She has not been seen since.On the night of Dec. 4, Struncova, 31, went to a party with several friends who were visiting from the Czech Republic. She was accompanied by her boyfriend, U.S. citizen Bill Ulmer, who sources say returned home early from the party claiming that he was frustrated by his inability to communicate with the Czech visitors. Struncova’s friends report that around 1 a.m. on the morning of Dec. 5, she returned to her residence, where she lived with Ulmer and four other roommates.

“At 1 a.m. that night we watched her walk inside the house,” said a source close to Struncova who asked to remain anonymous. “By 7 a.m. that morning, Dec. 5, Bill woke up and told us that Barbara had left with her friends in the middle of the night to go to the Caribbean side of Costa Rica.”

In the days following her disappearance, worried members of Struncova’s family contacted her friends in Tamarindo. The last time family members heard from her was Dec. 4.

Struncova’s belongings are still in her Tamarindo residence.

2. Cold Case Missing Persons in Costa Rica

Missing Person Kim Paris When the family of Kim Paris contacted me it had been almost 11 days since her disappearance. She had allegedly left a note at the hotel (Latitude 10) where she and her husband Gabriel Orozco were resident managers that she was going shopping. During my investigation into this there were unverified spottings of Kim after the day of her disappearance.  Several things about this disappearance made me question the stories I had been told. The fact of the matter was if Kim was the victim of a crime there are almost limitless places to dispose of the body and cover any potential evidence and or witnesses. Lacking resources and assistance it was challenging to search the area and the locals were of no assistance.

Kim Paris, is a dual citizen of France and Canada, moved to Santa Teresa from Montreal at the age of 33. She arrived with her boyfriend, Gabriel Orozco, whom she married in Costa Rica in January 2010.

The reason that I am posting this information again is in hopes that id someone stumbles across skeletel remains they remember this young woman who disappeared and has yet to be found. Also this is in the same general area of the disappearance of Barbara mentioned above.