Q COSTA RICA – A Canadian tourist was stabbed to death Sunday morning in Puerto Viejo de Limon, during a mugging, while snapping photos of the sunrise in the Costa Rican beach town.
Residents of the south Caribbean town discovered the body lying on the side of a road, believing to be a victim of a hit and run, and called 911.
The Organismo de Investigacion Judicial (OIJ) identified the man as 58 year-old Bruce McCallum and is said to be from Toronto.
“We are devastated. He was a kind, gentle soul,” his cousin Kendra Young told the Toronto Sun. “He did not deserve to die like this. No one does.”
Authorities say McCallum may have been targeted and followed. The man’s camera, evidenced by the empty camera bag and other belongings were missing. McCallum entered the country on February 19 with a group of other Canadian tourists, according to immigration records.
Claudio González, of the Cruz Roja, told Diarioextra.com: “We were alerted to attend hit and run…when we arrived at the scene we found a man, lying on the public road…it was verified he did not show any vital signs…we noticed two wounds in the chest (…).”
The Canadian’s body was transferred to the Forensic Medicine (morgue), in San Joaquin de Flores, Heredia.
The area of Puerto Viejo, about an hour south of the port city of Limon is a “live and let live” kind of town. The area is home to many Canadian and American expats.
Residents of the area who mainly live off tourism are dismayed. Aureliano Aguilar told the Diarioextra.com, “I don’t think (the assailant) is from here, they only come to hurt and stain the image of our area.”
Other residents commented on social media that the area is quiet and the integrity of tourists is protected and things get complicated when something like this happens. It is an area of few homicides to have occurred, less an assault.