The Miami Herald
March 29, 2000
Jewelry links suspect to slain teens


 SAN JOSE, Costa Rica -- A 16-year-old boy arrested over the weekend in the
 murder of two American teenagers was carrying jewelry belonging to the young
 women, police said Tuesday.

 The disclosure that the suspect was wearing a heavy silver chain and a Casio
 wristwatch stolen from the two murdered women when he was arrested Saturday
 came as police expanded the search for two other suspects in the March 13
 killings into neighboring Nicaragua. The suspect's identity was not released
 because he is a minor.

 Police spokesman Francisco Ruiz said Nicaraguan police have been asked to
 join the search after Costa Rican authorities confirmed that one of the two
 suspects at large -- a juvenile -- is Nicaraguan.

 ``Though they could be here in Costa Rica, there are some indications they've
 gone to Nicaragua,'' Ruiz said.

 Police have the names of the two suspects, but don't want to make them public,
 he said.

 College friends Emily Eagen of Ann Arbor, Mich., and Emily Howell of Lexington,
 Ky., both just days short of their 20th birthdays, were shot to death near the
 popular tourist beaches on Costa Rica's southern Caribbean coast in a crime that
 sent alarm rippling through the country's lucrative tourist industry.

 Police believe the two women were killed by three men to whom they offered a
 ride as they left a disco in the early morning hours. The burned-out hulk of their
 rented sports utility vehicle was found beside a road in a national park, several
 hours away.

 The 16-year-old was linked to the crime by witnesses who spotted him driving the
 vehicle shortly after the murders, by two tow-truck drivers who said he ordered
 them at gunpoint to burn the vehicle and by a taxi driver who picked him up in the

 The suspect grew up in Alajuela, a suburb of San Jose. But a spokesman for the
 Public Security Ministry said he has been living by himself in a rented cabin near
 the murder scene for several months and ``has a long criminal record'' on the
 Caribbean coast.

 Police said he tear-gassed a security guard during the robbery of a grocery store
 in December and later the same day broke into a school and stole several
 thousand dollars in computer equipment.

 The suspect was planning another supermarket robbery when he was arrested in
 Sixaola, near the Panamanian border, police said. The boy's father is on parole
 after a conviction on narcotics-trafficking charges and his mother is awaiting trial
 for the same offense, they said.

                     Copyright 2000 Miami Herald