Nosara, Police News

What We Know About the Man Who Died in the Ocean at Playa Pelada

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Anxiety and anguish describe the current mood in the community of Nosara following the disappearance and confirmed drowning of Justin Valdivia, 45, a U. S. native who ran the local Pink Sand Tours, a fishing and snorkeling business in Playa Pelada.


This is what authorities know so far:


–Valdivia was reported missing to the Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) in Nicoya on Tuesday. A search was initiated on Wednesday at 5 p.m., according to Nosara Fire Department Chief Ryan Kerr-Bombard.


–The last time Valdivia was seen he was in the northern area of Playa Pelada.


–On Friday at 1:30 a.m. a fisherman in Ostional discovered the victim’s body and called police.


–OIJ officials from Santa Cruz assisted in the recovery of the body, which was in an advanced state of decomposition. “The victim’s body was recovered in the morning and transferred to the pathology unit for an autopsy,” said Marcos Badilla, head of OIJ Santa Cruz.


–Valdivia had been carrying his passport, which helped identify him as the man reported missing to OIJ in Nicoya.


–Authorities say no one else has been reported missing. The last drowning in Nosara occurred last October. In that incident, the victim was a 53-year-old Panamanian man.


–The day of Valdivia’s disappearance strong rip currents were reported, although a cause of death has not yet been determined.


–An investigation is ongoing by OIJ with no further details available at this time.


–Friends of Valdivia have created a GoFundMe campaign to help pay funeral costs. According to the GoFundMe post, “Justin was loved by many. He was tragically killed when he slipped and fell on rocks, ultimately died in the very ocean he loved.”  


Please remember to be cautious and aware when swimming at Playas de Nosara.