A National Geographic Channel claim that Anchorage’s Cody Roman Dial was the victim of a homicide in Costa Rica stands at this time as unfounded.
An official cause of death has yet to be determined, but the country’s Judicial Investigation Police have been steadfast in the opinion no foul play was involved.
OIJ Director Walter Espinoza on Friday told reporters from The Tico Times that bits of paper money, a compass and other valuables were among the belongings found with the remains of Dial’s body in a creek in a ravine in Corcovado National Park.
Authorities are operating on the premise that such valuables would be unlikely to be left behind if the 27-year-old Alaska adventurer was murdered in the Costa Rica wilderness.
Aengus James, a producer for the Nat Geo show “Missing Dial,” on Wednesday told The Wrap that Dial’s death was “now classified as a homicide.” Thewrap.com is a website covering Hollywood entertainment news.
The claim is factually wrong. The death has not been classified as a homicide.
“I scratched my head when I read that yesterday,” Tico Times reporter Zach Dyer emailed Friday. “Everything from OIJ has so far not suggested foul play but they’ve barely had a chance to examine the remains.”
Dyer the same day attended a press conference with Espinoza; Roman and Peggy Dial, Cody’s parents; and forensic anthropologist Georgina Pacheco from the University of Costa Rica.
Pacheco “was part of the OIJ forensic team that collected the remains. She said the remains were found in the middle of a creek in a part of the park known as Quebrada Doctor,” Dyer later reported.
Roman and Peggy have given DNA to help Costa Rican authorities confirm the identify of the remains which had decayed in the jungle environment. And the investigation into Cody’s death is continuing. It is possible information could emerge that points to foul play, but at this point his death appears to have been an accident.
The Dials are a well known Anchorage family. Roman, a professor at Alaska Pacific University, is a National Geographic Explorer internationally recognized for his Alaska adventurers. They participated in the Nat Geo show “Missing Dial” in hopes of finding Cody’s body.
Nat Geo is not the most creditable media entity in the country.
It produced the so-called reality TV show “Alaska State Troopers” which was known to bend the truth in search of cinematic drama. In 2011, the show suggested Troopers were worried that if drunks fell asleep in the woods at the Girdwood Forest Fair they could be eaten by bears.
There was neither precedent nor history to support that far-fetched claim. National Geo was also behind “Ultimate Survival Alaska,” a phonied up version of “The Amazing Race.” One of the stars of Ultimate Survival once admitted scenes were made up.
“There are scenes this season where [contestants] are walking through the woods and suddenly they’re standing next to a Kodiak bear who is close enough to kill them,” Ultimate Survival’s Marty Raney told the New York Daily News. “It didn’t happen. But anyone who knows Alaska knows it could have. You don’t know what a bear is going to do.
“We all know not everything that happens on ‘reality’ shows is real,” Raney said.