The tagline of the 5-Star resort La Mansion Inn is “You come as a guest, but leave as a friend.” Dra. Maria Luisa Cedeno Quesada (43), wasn’t even able to leave alive. Three men are in custody for her murder, including the owner of the hotel, Harry J. Bodaan, a longtime fixture on the Manuel Antonio social scene, often referred to as the Ambassador of Quepos. Bodaan (69), was taken into police custody on Thursday at noon at his home on the grounds of the inn, after detectives using sniffer dogs found evidence linking him to the doctor’s murder.
Also in preventive detention for the murder are a Nicaraguan male stripper named Teodoro Herrera Martinez (38), and a systems analyst named Miranda Izquierdo (36), both of whom were living at the hotel at the time of the murder. Herrera, according to hotel staff, had been living at La Mansion for one year without paying, while Miranda had only been in residence for fifteen days. The press office of the OIJ confirmed that all three men were detained on conclusive evidence recovered at the crime scene, which ties them to the murder of Dra. Cedeno.
Authorities believe Dra. Cedeno was lured to the hotel by Herrera with promises of a “relaxing, wonderful time.” Preliminary results seem to indicate that Herrera and Izquierdo collaborated on the grizzly homicide, and the involvement of Bodaan is still under investigation. Cedeno was last seen alive on Sunday the 20th, when she came downstairs to get a bottle of wine and two glasses. Her body was discovered Monday afternoon, after she failed to check out of her room.
Bodaan is the owner of La Mansion, a small 5-star boutique hotel, famous for having celebrities in residence, and society’s best vacationing in its luxury rooms. Bodaan is Dutch and many of his guests are European. The walls of the Inn are decorated with photos of famous faces who have spent the night there, from Oscar Arias and other Costa Rican movers and shakers, to Mikhail Gorbachev and other world leaders. Bodaan is the president of the Quepos Chamber of Tourism, and an outspoken supporter of the tourist industry in Costa Rica.
Guests at the Inn are invited to donate $1.00 to their bill for Bodaan’s Travellers Aid Budget, a fund set up to help people who fall victim to crime while staying in Manuel Antonio. The fund helps make the victims whole so they can continue their vacations.
Bodaan immediately issued a statement to the press when the homicide was discovered saying, “I have no words to adequately describe the pain and depression that consumes me as a result of the murder of Dra. Cedeno. I can’t imagine the agony of her mother and father, who have seen their daughter leave this earth under such tragic circumstances. For them, and other loved ones of hers, I extend my sincerest regrets for their loss, and pray to God they may find comfort and peace.”
Comments made on social media were not as warm about the involvement of the Inn’s owner with this murder. Many comments were indecent, scandalous and salacious, describing Bodaan’s alleged involvement in the recruitment of male gay performers for private parties and events. Many were puzzled by the alleged sexual assault of a female by homosexual men. The attack, as reported, was brutal, involving fists, a knife, and even biting of the victim by her assailant(s). Crime reports in the near future will hopefully clarify what truly happened.
Bodaan has lived in Costa Rica for 25 years, 20 of them as a hotel proprietor. The two other accused were allegedly his friends, with Herrera described as his lover.
Dra. Cedeno came to Quepos alone, accompanied by her little dog “Mafalda”, and things took a terrible turn for the tragic. She was the head of Anesthesiology at Cima Hospital, and well-loved and respected by all. The OIJ are working all their leads to get to the bottom of this case, and hope to have an update soon. The arrest of one of Quepos’ business stars has shocked the city, and everyone awaits more details of how this tragedy happened in their own quiet town.
The Star will update this story when more information becomes available
About the Author :