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Suspect Surrenders in Murder of Teenagers in Costa Rica

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Sebastian and Valeria

A 21-year-old farm worker gave himself up to the OIJ investigative agency in the twin murders of a pair of young musicians in the youth orchestra, Valeria Cortes, 15, and Sebastian Condori, 16. The attractive pair disappeared Monday afternoon and were discovered by searching friends buried in shallow graves in a lonely pasture.

The double murder shocked residents of Paraiso de Cartago and members of the youth music education program. The two were going out together and OIJ said that a sexual motive is suspected since Condori was found fully clothed but his girlfriend was buried nude.

Condori suffered several knife wounds on his back but the girl was strangled by a strip of cloth. The pair set off Monday afternoon to do errands and friends did not find their graves until the next afternoon. Detectives theorized that the crime was committed by at least two persons.

Sebastian Condori was a flautist who entered the music program three years ago and Cortes was a violinist who had been in it for a year and a half. Miguel Pena, director of the youth musical education program described the couple as “respectful and friendly” with “music as their main passion.”

Pena also described them as highly talented and their deaths as a loss to Costa Rican music. In Paraiso, several demonstrated against the murders, putting even more pressure on police to solve the case. The mayor of Paraiso, Jorge Rodriguez, said the municipality would finance bringing Condori’s family here from Panama.

OIJ described the improvised burials as being a meter (three feet) deep and 25 meters apart, the bodies buried on either side of a ditch. The OIJ spokesman said that digging was difficult in the area because of numerous tough roots in the soil.

Pending forensic examination of the girl, OIJ was unable to say if she had been raped.

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