The Missing Americans Project

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Jeff Dunsavage's Blog – September 2010 Archive (18)

Chaos in Ecuador

Ecuador Declares Emergency as Police Protest, President is Attacked, CNN Says.

During times of civil unrest, travelers often fall out of communication with their families and friends back home. Please keep us posted if you hear of anyone who has gone missing in Ecuador during this crisis.

Added by Jeff Dunsavage on September 30, 2010 at 4:00pm — No Comments

Tim Rayley Found Alive!!

So nice to finally have a happy ending! It was just a case of a stolen cellphone and someone trying to extort money from Tim's family. Best wishes to him and his whole family!

Added by Jeff Dunsavage on September 29, 2010 at 12:57am — 2 Comments

Police Investigating Murder of American Couple in Costa Rica

According to this article in the Latin American Herald Tribune, Costa Rica police are investigating the murder of a Cuban-American married couple at a luxury beach condominium on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast. Detectives found the body of 76-year-old Alfredo Espinoza in the living room and the corpse of 64-year-old Tania Espinoza in the bathroom of the residence.Both had… Continue

Added by Jeff Dunsavage on September 27, 2010 at 5:31am — No Comments

Eric Volz: Why Did Jeff Probst of Survivor: Nicaragua Email Me?

Very interesting post by Eric Volz, an American who was held for a year on trumped-up murder charges in Nicaragua's prison system. His book, Gringo Nightmare, provides a nauseating insider perspective. CBS apparently canceled a show that was being done about Eric (coincidentally?) as the network was preparing to launch Survivor: Nicaragua. Yet another example… Continue

Added by Jeff Dunsavage on September 26, 2010 at 10:23pm — 1 Comment

A Must-Read for Travelers to Costa Rica

The Safest Way to Travel in Costa Rica: A Primer for Tourists - a recent article from I am posting it in full below because it is too important to risk losing due to a broken link. Many thanks to the author, John Holtz.

You do need to read this because there has been a rash of tourist tragedy since spring of last year and I am… Continue

Added by Jeff Dunsavage on September 26, 2010 at 6:30am — No Comments

"Kim Paris Is Missing" Facebook Page - Please Join

Please show your support for the family of Kim Paris, a Canadian citizen missing for several weeks in Costa Rica, by joining the Facebook page created by her family and friends. Kim is the fifth person to go missing in Costa Rica since March 2009. Several…


Added by Jeff Dunsavage on September 25, 2010 at 9:00am — 1 Comment

2 French Tourists Said Missing in Bolivia

Two French tourists have been missing nearly four weeks in Bolivia's Beni region in the Amazon bordering Brazil, the French ambassador said Wednesday in launching a public appeal for help finding them. The couple was identified as Fanny Blancho, 23 and her partner, Jeremy Bellanger, 25. Read full article.

Ambassador Antoine Grassin said the couple was in the midst of a tour of…


Added by Jeff Dunsavage on September 24, 2010 at 2:00pm — No Comments

More Info on Kim Paris's Disappearance in Costa Rica

From a few days ago on CBC News. It's not much. Our prayers are with Kim's family -- if anyone out there has any connections with them, please let them know The Missing Americans Project is helping to spread the word and has families who have lost people in Costa Rica and may be able to provide guidance.

Added by Jeff Dunsavage on September 24, 2010 at 6:02am — 1 Comment

Canada's Guidance Regarding Costa Rica

It looks as if the Ottawa Citizen was a bit loose in its language. Canada does not have an official travel advisory out on Costa Rica - but the Foreign Affairs website advises as follows:

Travellers should be alert to their surroundings near the ports of Limón and Puntarenas. In San José, high-risk areas for theft include the Coca Cola bus station, the inner downtown area and the public parks. Travellers should also be cautious in Tamarindo, Jaco, Quepos and Manuel Antonio on…


Added by Jeff Dunsavage on September 24, 2010 at 5:49am — No Comments

Conflicting Information Re: Canada and Costa Rica

Re: my previous post - the Canada Foreign Affairs Office's website does not say anything about a travel advisory for parts of Costa Rica, conflicting with the report published in the Ottawa Citizen. If Canada's Foreign Affairs Office is anything like the U.S. State Dept., it might… Continue

Added by Jeff Dunsavage on September 22, 2010 at 11:26am — No Comments

Canada Foreign Affairs Officials Issue Travel Advisory for Parts of Costa Rica

According to this article in the Ottawa Citizen.

Added by Jeff Dunsavage on September 22, 2010 at 11:00am — No Comments

Iran Releases One American Hiker on Bail

American Sarah Shourd left Iran Tuesday after Iranian authorities freed her from the Iranian prison where she has been held since July 2009, her lawyer told CNN. Read full story.

Added by Jeff Dunsavage on September 14, 2010 at 11:44am — No Comments

American Murdered in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica While Relaxing on Beach

This just in from A.M. Costa Rica. I wish there would be more media attention to these cases, or some kind of follow-up. One murder and 2 disappearance of North Americans since July. Second U.S. citizen (that we know of) this year -- John Scibek of Massachussetts was killed and left in the middle of a road near his home in Play Portrero in January. Seven… Continue

Added by Jeff Dunsavage on September 11, 2010 at 10:30am — No Comments

WTF: Brazil Gives Legal Custody of U.S. Teen Runaway to Her Online Boyfriend's Uncle?

You can't make this shit up! More than a decade after Elian Gonzalez was ripped from his family's arms at gunpoint in Florida and returned to Cuba after his mother and uncles drowned bringing him to freedom in the U.S., Brazilian authorities have given legal custody Florida runaway to the family of the boyfriend she met online. Read the fully story.

"If this was a…


Added by Jeff Dunsavage on September 10, 2010 at 10:00am — No Comments

Suspect in Roatan Murder Begs Australian Partner to Come Forward

Jisoo Han, a Korean woman awaiting trial over the death of Dutch schoolteacher Mariska Mast in Roatan, Honduras, has pleaded for Australian Dan Ross to save her from spending the rest of her life in a Honduran jail. Han, under house arrest in Honduras, proclaimed her innocence yesterday and said she still had no idea what happened the night 23-year-old Mast died. Read full…


Added by Jeff Dunsavage on September 8, 2010 at 8:41pm — No Comments

Another North American Reported Missing in Costa Rica

Kim Paris, a 33-year-old Canadian woman, is the latest ex-pat to disappear in Costa Rica, according to A.M. Costa Rica. The woman, who lives in Santa Teresa de Cóbano de Puntarenas, disappeared Aug. 26, judicial agents in Costa Rica said. U.S. citizen, Roger Peter Biennvennu, 64, has been missing since early July. He lives in Barrio Quebradas, San Isidro de Peréz Zeledón. According to A.M. Costa Rica, Kim is the fifth expat to disappear in the…


Added by Jeff Dunsavage on September 8, 2010 at 10:00am — 2 Comments

Panama Cops: Americans Would Befriend Victims, Then Rob and Kill

Important story on about the two American nutjobs who were killing ex-pat property owners in Panama and just taking over their properties (according to one of the blogs I read, they had a local lawyer taking care of the paperwork). The couple was caught in Nicaragua a few weeks ago, after a detour through Costa Rica. This region attracts all kinds -- the hopeful…


Added by Jeff Dunsavage on September 1, 2010 at 4:30pm — No Comments

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