A missing American man from Tampa is assumed to have been murdered earlier this month, after charges his credit card stopped arriving and his abandoned rental car was found partially submerged in the Nuevo Rio River in Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica.
The missing American, Charlie Hughes, had recently returned to visit a new friend that he had met on his first trip to Costa Rica, that is when he was most likely murdered for his iPhone and a very small amount of cash by his new Costa Rican BFF.
“He’d recently been on a vacation there with his friend, Tiffany,” Charlie’s little brother Barry said. “They decided to spend 10 days in Central America, and apparently he’d met this young many down there and when they came back, he decided he wanted to go back and spend more time.”
Despite being described by family members as a tech-savvy traveler, Charlie apparently wasn’t savvy enough to Google Costa Rica’s Tourist Murdering problem. With just a quick search for news articles Charlie would have learned about Gianfranco Pescosolido, the Italian expat who got murdered in La Sabana Park during a failed robbery, or Carla Stefaniak, the Venezuelan-American that was murdered in an AirBnB in Escazu, or Thomas J. Cook the U.S. expat who befriended a pretty young waitress in Jacó before turning up dead in Limón.
Now we aren’t blaming the victim here, but had Charlie done his due-diligence maybe he would have been a little more cautious with whom he befriended. Instead, much like James Hogg, the American man that went missing in Quepos, and William Sean Creighton, the US expat and high-profile sports book owner that was kidnapped and allegedly murdered even though La Extra didn’t post a picture of his body, Charlie probably forgot where he was for a moment and let his guard down, a mistake that more than likely cost him his life.
Although the name of the friend has yet to surface, the owner of the bar in which Hughes had met his last new friend at, reportedly told Charlie’s younger sibling that the man his brother had befriended was “trouble, a lowlife, and a gigolo.”
According to Charlies sister Nancy says she was told that the man was in her brother’s hotel room when staff knocked loudly on the door, asking about Charlie. “He was there sleeping after Charlie was reportedly driving in the direction of the Nuevo Rio River, for no apparent reason,” said Nancy.
The family says they want the real story, not something “that protects tourism” in a country known for it’s influx of visitors.
If you have seen Charlie Hughes since his reported disappearance, if you know of his current whereabouts, or if you have any information whatsoever concerning Charlie’s disappearance; please call the Costa Rica OIJ at +506 8868 9149, the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI. or call Texas EquuSearch at (281) 309-9500.
The last time anyone has seen Charlie, except for the person that probably killed him, was Friday, August the 3rd.