The body of William Creighton, the founder of online sportsbook 5Dimes, has been found a year after he was abducted in Costa Rica. Though his family paid a $1 million Bitcoin ransom, Creighton’s abductors cut off contact and he was never released.
Professionally known as “5Dimes Tony,” Creighton went missing on September 24, 2018, after leaving the 5Dimes offices in San Pedro.
His body was discovered last week in a graveyard in Quepos, a small fishing town with a population of just under 22,000 people.
Creighton’s remains were found less than 60 miles from where he was abducted, in a “modest cemetery with a humble tombstone with no name,” according to the Costa Rica Star.
The U.S. State Department confirmed the identity of the remains in a statement sent to ESPN on Monday.
“We can confirm Costa Rican authorities identified the remains of a U.S. citizen in Costa Rica,” a spokesperson for the department said.
“We offer our sincerest condolences to the family on their loss. We are closely monitoring local authorities’ investigation into the cause of death.
“We stand ready to provide all appropriate consular assistance. Out of respect to the family during this difficult time, we have no further comment.”
The Costa Rican Judicial Investigation Department (OIJ) did not disclose how Creighton died, saying they were waiting for an autopsy to confirm a cause of death.
Bitcoin ransom gone wrong
According to the OIJ, Creighton, 43, was abducted during a traffic stop shortly after leaving his office on September 24, 2018.
During the traffic stop, four men in a gray pickup truck pulled up and abducted Creighton, who was later reportedly taken by taxi to an unknown location.
The next morning, Creighton’s family received a ransom demand for $5 million. Ultimately, the ransom demand was lowered to $1 million, which his wife paid in Bitcoin.
Rather than release Creighton upon receiving the ransom payment, however, the kidnappers cut off all communication and reportedly fled the country to Cuba.
According to local reports, three suspects connected to the case returned to Span in early November 2018, which alerted the authorities.
Jordan Morales Vega, whom investigators say was the leader of the abduction, his mother, Guiselle Vega Aguirre, and companion Maria Fernanda Solis Chaves were extradited from Spain and are awaiting trial in Costa Rica.
A joint effort by the OIJ and local authorities led to the suspects’ arrest in Zaragoza, Spain.
In January this year, a dozen more people believed to have also been involved in Creighton’s abduction were arrested in raids in both Costa Rica and Spain.
The Costa Rica Office of Public Ministry did not disclose whether any of the bitcoin used to pay the ransom has been recovered or how Creighton’s body was found.