In Golfito, in the Southern Zone, a man is alleged to have killed his better half and then forced a friend to bury her. Authorities say Hellen Abarca López, 20, who had gone missing since February 15, was killed and buried in the woods until the remains were found this week.

According to the Organismo de Investigación Judicial (OIJ), the man now in custody, arrested in Herradura, Puntarens, and identified by his last name Arce Quesada, apparently killed Hellen and then asked his friend to go looking for her, that she had a habit of running off into the mountains. There, when they came upon the body, the two men argued and Arce threatened the friend and forced him to bury the young woman. It wasn’t until investigators questioned the friend that he spilled all.

Giovanni Rodríguez, interim sub-director of the OIJ, said it was the alleged killer who filed a missing person report and when they learned the man had a history of complaints related to domestic violence.

Investigators learned hat Hellen had begun a relationship with Arce a month before her disappearance.

Rodriguez explained that the body was decomposed but a tattoo allowed to fully identify the victim.