A Vermont native who resided in Costa Rica was found dead after going missing in August, and authorities are calling his death a murder—with a younger woman reportedly being called a person of interest in the case.
The body of Tom Cook, 62, who had been living in Vermont his entire life before recently retiring to Jaco, was found in a “shallow grave,” WCAX 3 reports, citing family members who authorities confirmed the grim news with last Friday.
“He was buried in shallow grave,” Cook’s sister, Sandra LaFrance, told the news station, adding that police suspect a younger woman who he had begun a relationship with may be involved.
“He was really trusting, and really trusted this girl. And we don’t exactly know the involvement of all of it, but she is a person of interest for sure.”
Earlier this month, NBC 5 spoke with family members of the deceased man, who was only known to be missing at the time. They expressed frustration at how the case was being handled.
“Local authorities in Costa Rica, as well as the U.S. embassy are investigating, however, there’s no concrete proof or evidence that there’s foul play, so they’re treating it as a missing persons case, so it means that things are moving a lot slower,” Cook’s niece, Samantha Eayrs, told the media outlet.
LaFrance explained that while her brother had moved to Costa Rica, it was unusual for him to be out of touch with loved ones back in Vermont.
“That’s why we noticed something wasn’t right because he hadn’t gotten in touch with any of us,” LaFrance said.
The victim’s family is now on a mission to caution others about the dangers of traveling outside of the country, and “the limitations of the U.S. government to protect them,” according to WCAX.
“I just pray that we can help change that, so the next person doesn’t have to go through what we’ve gone through,” LaFrance said.
[Feature photo: Tom Cook/Facebook]