QCOSTARICA – 24 year old Alejandro Obando Vega has been arrested for the muder of Sondra Lynn Elizondo the week before last. Elizondo was found in her downtown San Jose hotel room stabbed to death.
Authorities theorize the romance between the older American woman and the young Costa Rican went sour, ending tragically in the death of Elizondo who visited Costa Rica frequently.
According to the Organismo de Investigacion Judicial (OIJ), the young lover allegedly launched a frenzied attack on Elizondo in the Casa69 hotel room, a tiny boutique hotel in San Jose’s Barrio California. Investigatos say their romance reignited every time Elizondo visited the country, on this last occasion, Obando stabbed her 15 times in the neck, face, chest and shoulder.
The theory is violence stemmed from a threat by Elizondo to leave Obando over his jealous and controlling behaviour.
According to a report by the Daily Mail Online and their source, staff noticed that Obando appeared ‘jealous’ and ‘controlling’ over Elizondo. The source said: ‘the workers told police the woman was very friendly and sociable, she spoke to many other people at the hotel. Her companion didn’t like that, he seemed jealous, demanding and controlling, he didn’t appear to like her talking to anybody, he seemed upset when she did.”
The Daily Mail Online report quotes Elizondo’s nephew Jimmy Elizondo, “That guy was her boyfriend and when she ended the relationship he (allegedly) killed her and for us it’s a huge loss, it’s very hard, because she was a great person whom we loved so much”.
“The family knew about her relationship with Ale. But she kept the relationship away from us. We saw them together a couple of times, but she admitted it wasn’t love,” says Jimmy, who is currently studying tourism at university, adding that Sondra and Obando had known each other for around two years.
Jimmy said Sondra had lived in Cartago, the town where Obando is originally from, for many years, raising her children there when they were young, so had many connections to the area. It was in Cartago where she founded her charity. “I don’t believe that she was in love with Ale. She would only see him when she would come by the country,” added the nephew.
“When I spoke with her before she died, she told me she was not in love with Ale, her priority was always the family. It was a relationship of convenience.” Elizondo’s nephew Jimmy Elizondo
Obando was arrested on Thursday, December 10 (the day following the murder) – not Friday as has previously been reported – in a supermarket in the town of Goicoechea.
Elizondo was the co-founder of Vida Volunteer, an organization that provides free medical and dental care in needy communities in Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Guatemala.
Elizondo’s brother Greg Payne, 51, told Daily Mail Online last week that he could barely speak after finding out that his sister was dead.
He said: “We just can’t believe that a horrifying thing like that happened. She’s a great person, a great humanitarian. She was always thinking of others. She spent her time between the US and Costa Rica, she was mostly here. She went down there whenever she needed to. She started Vida Volunteer because she saw the need for it. Other people weren’t getting to the areas she did so she went ahead and did it.”
A statement by Vida on Facebook, read: ‘Sondra was a devoted mother, loyal friend and caring daughter. She was a great inspiration and always passionate about helping others and making a positive difference. Vida Volunteer is the legacy Sondra leaves behind and we are more committed than ever to keeping her dream alive.’
Editor’s note: For this report we had to rely solely on the report by the Daily Mail Online given that none of the Spanish language news or the OIJ website and Facebook have no reports on the arrest in the case.