Hans Snelders and Sita Dhawtal
Hans Snelders and Sita Dhawtal

QCOSTARICA – Kind and sweet are the words used by friends and relatives to describe the Dutch couple, Hans Snelders and Sita Dhawtal, murdered on their farm in Sardinal de Puntarenas.

The couple, along with their ranch foreman, were found dead, bound and shot. The bodies were discovered Monday by a worker returning from his year-end holidays.

At first it was believed that the murder had taken place a week earlier, but authorities now say the murder may have taken place on Sunday.

According to the Organismo de Investigacion Judicial (OIJ), the Europeans arrived in the country about 8 years ago, periodically travelling to Holland where to visit relatives. The farm where they died was also involved in tourist activities.

For now authorities are being quiet on the motive for the triple killing. Walter Espinoza, director of the OIJ, refused to speculate, only confirming that they will be receiving the assistance of the Dutch police to investigate.

Tragedy has haunted the family of Hans Snelders. In April 2013, his daughter, Talitha Snelder, died under mysterious circumstances in Amsterdam, according to the Dutch news, De Telegraaf. She was 25 at the time of her death.

Talitha Snelders
Talitha Snelders, daughter of Hans, died in 2013 hit by a train in Amsterdam. The family, including Hans, never believed it was a suicide

Talitha was found dead near a railway line in the city. Police initially handled the death as a suicide, but this hypothesis lost force and police focusing on that apparently the girl was thrown from the train by her killer.

The De Telegraaf, one of the most important newspapers in the Netherlands, says the Costa Rica murder is “probably not a robbery”. The daily emphasises that Talitha’s family, including Hans, never believed in the suicide theory. In October last year, the young girl’s family, petitioned the courts for a new investigation, claiming there was enough evidence to conclude the death was not a suicide.

Sebas Diestra, lawyer in Talitha’s case called the investigation “a big mess” with many errors committed by the prosecutor’s office.

In Costa Rica, the investigation into the triple murder continues.