American fugitives William Dathan Holbert and Laura Michelle Reese were arrested in Costa Rica as suspects in as many as nine murders in Panama.
William Dathan Holbert and his girlfriend Laura Michelle Reese, were arrested by authorities as they attempted to make their way into Nicaragua via Costa Rica, officials said. The two are wanted in connection with the deaths of seven fellow Americans in Panama, as well as two Panamanians, authorities said.
Holbert and Reese have quite a past. The couple operated a series of scams in the U.S.—including one that involved Holbert stealing a $200,000 house that didn’t belong to him—before fleeing the country in 2006. Panamanian police got suspicious after officers discovered two bodies near a house that Holbert and Reese were living in under fake names. The woman has been identified as Cheryl Lynn Hughes, from St Louis, Missouri, who had been living in Panama for 10 years but has been missing since March. The man was identified as Bo Icelar, who has been missing since November and is thought to be from New Mexico. Prosecutors allege Mr Holbert befriended Ms Hughes and Mr Icelar by posing as a potential investor before murdering them and taking over their properties – a hotel and a house.
Panamanian authorities say they have recovered three more bodies on his property. The bodies of a man, a woman and a child were found buried in the grounds of a hostel owned by William Holbert in the Bocas del Toro archipelago. Tests were planned to identify the latest remains. On Sunday, prosecutors quoted Holbert as admitting he killed a U.S. man named Mike Brown, his wife and small son about three years ago and buried them on his property. Prosecutors say Mr Holbert, 30, has confessed to killing five people to steal their money and property, and has been giving them information about where to find the bodies. “He picked out his victims after making their acquaintance,” said Angel Calderon, a prosecuting attorney, London’s Guardian reports. “Knowing that nobody would ask about them, he got rid of them.”
It is still unclear what role Reese played in the alleged scheme. The couple were using false documents in Panama and living under the aliases William and Jean Cortez, police said.
-articles by Michael Sheridan and Brian Moylan rewritten and adapted by admin-