Almost a year since American businessman William Sean Creighton was kidnapped in Costa Rica, and a $1 million ransom subsequently paid in Bitcoin, he has been confirmed dead.
Creighton’s body was found in a cemetery on Costa Rica’s central pacific coast last week, nearly 12 months after the Bitcoin ransom was paid.
The body was found several hundred miles from the site where Creighton’s kidnapping is suspected to have occurred. The cause of Creighton’s death has not been established.
In a statement, the U.S. State Department has indicated that it is following up on the matter:
“We are closely monitoring local authorities’ investigation into the cause of death. We stand ready to provide all appropriate consular assistance.”
As previously reported by CCN, Creighton was kidnapped last year on September 24th while driving in his Porsche Cayman Turbo in the Granadilla de Curridabat neighborhood at about 10 pm.
Early the following day, his wife received a $5 million ransom demand. She only paid around $1 million in Bitcoin, however. At the time the price of the cryptocurrency was averaging around $6,400, so it amounted to a little over 150 BTC (worth ~$1.5 million today).
Between October 2018 and January 2019, several arrests were made in Spain and Costa Rica in connection with Creighton’s kidnapping.
Per the director of the Organismo de Investigacion Judicial (OIJ), Walter Espinoza, the arrests were partly aided by tracing the recipient of the Bitcoin ransom. Allegedly, the payment was made to three cryptocurrency wallets.
Besides swallowing the myth that Bitcoin transactions are completely untraceable, the suspects also failed to mask their residential IP address. This further aided in the investigations, according to Espinoza:
“There was a payment in virtual money (bitcoin). That payment was made through 3 virtual wallets. The OIJ with its experts managed to establish that one of the members of the organization had access to one of those wallets and had connected through an IP located in their home…”
After his wife paid the ransom in Bitcoin last year without securing his release, there were reports that indicated that Creighton could have been murdered. They were, however, proven untrue.
The only difference is that this time, Creighton’s body has been positively identified.
This article was edited by Josiah Wilmoth.