The body of William Sean Creighton, the founder of online sportsbook 5Dimes, was discovered last week in a cemetery in the small fishing village of Quepos, the Central American country's Judicial Investigation Department (OIJ) told ESPN on Monday. The department was unable to confirm a cause of death.
"We can confirm Costa Rican authorities identified the remains of a U.S. citizen in Costa Rica," a United States State Department spokesperson said in a statement to the outlet. "We offer our sincerest condolences to the family on their loss. We are closely monitoring local authorities' investigation into the cause of death.”
The 43-year-old, of West Virginia, was abducted on Sept. 24, 2018, after leaving his office in San Pedro, the OIJ said. Traffic officers had pulled over Creighton in the Granadilla de Curridabat neighborhood at 10 p.m. when four men in a gray pickup truck grabbed him.
The kidnappers demanded a $5 million ransom from his relatives the following morning, investigators said. They ultimately paid a $1 million sum.
In January, authorities said they arrested a dozen people during raids in Costa Rica and Spain that were connected to the kidnapping.
Three of the suspects - alleged ringleader Jordan Morales, his mother, Guiselle Vega Aguirre and a companion, Maria Fernanda Solis Chaves - were extradited from Spain in April and are awaiting trial for extortive kidnapping.
The Costa Rican government hasn’t said how Creighton’s body was discovered or how they identified his remains, which were located three hours from the abduction site.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether the suspects would face additional charges.