Unravelling like an episode of a crime procedural TV show, the mystery behind the death of psychologist Ana Patricia Delgado, 47, in Escazú Thursday appears a step closer to resolution.
Director of the crack investigative agency OIJ Francisco Segura revealed that a surprise witness sleeping at the victim’s Escasú home has surfaced, implicating Delgado’s son, surnamed Badilla. (Remember that women retain their own surname(s) after marriage.)
The foreign houseguest of the victim was about to call 911 when the son entered the room and ordered her sternly not to get involved, said the OIJ director. The nervous foreigner opted to go to the home of some relatives to make the emergency call.
“When she returned to the scene,” Segura continued, “all she found was a bloody sheet. The house was empty.” Badilla, the 27-year-old son, had been a prime suspect since the beginning but the visitor to the home provided more hard evidence in the case.
Segura said that the victim had died of a stab wound to the stomach. “The young man left and encountered his girlfriend en route,” he continued, “It appears that they put the corpse in the car’s trunk. They drove to Jacó using the victim’s credit cards and stayed there a couple of nights.
“To us,” Segura said, “it appears that the body was dumped on the beach a day before we found it. It was in the car for two days. This explains the smell of the vehicle. Workers, washing the car, called the police due to traces of blood they found in the car.”
OIJ deduces that the pair took the car in for a wash after leaving the body on the beach. “They called a second time when either no one took the call seriously or because the information wasn’t precise enough… the state of the car was such that a wash job could not eradicate all the clues.”
OIJ suspects the Badilla murdered his mother due to a family dispute. Prosecutors have informed the suspect that he is being investigated for murder and his girlfriend as an accomplice.Prosecutors have asked six months of preventive prison for both Badilla and his girlfriend.
Delgado may have felt that he was being sly — he has schizophrenia — but neighbors witnessed him loading his mother’s corpse into the car. (Schizophrenics have trouble distinguished reality from fantasy.) Police, arriving at the scene, found traces of blood but no victim and no son.
OIJ agents placed a stakeout on the house and arrested Badilla at 11 a.m. Tuesday and when he returned to Escazú, in his car, his girl at his side. The victim’s son was studying to become a physical therapist.