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Authorities in Costa Rica say six people have died, including an American, in what could be a robbery from the American ranch in the Central American country

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica – Six people, including an American, were killed in what could be a robbery from the American ranch in Costa Rica, the national detective agency said on Monday.

The agency identified the American as Steve Sandusky, but did not offer him a hometown in the United States.

He said Sandusky was a resident of Costa Rica and owned the ranch in the province of Puntarenas south of the capital, San José. The ranch is approximately 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) from the nearest public road.

The other five victims are believed to be Costa Rican nationals who Sandusky had asked to come to the ranch to repair farm machinery, authorities said. Their families lost contact with them on Sunday and picked them up from the ranch.

The dead include a man, his wife and their 20-year-old son. The bodies of Sandusky and another victim had been burned; a third had been sprayed with fuel but had not been burned. All seemed to have been shot.

Authorities said they were still investigating the murders, but the theft appears to be a possible motive as Sandusky’s home was ransacked and a window was smashed.

The U.S. Embassy said it could not comment on the case due to privacy concerns.

The brutality of the killings shocked Costa Rica, the most peaceful country in Central America, with a homicide rate of around 11 murders per 100,000 people per year.

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ABC News

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