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Please help bring Ryan home

$12,200 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 198 people in 1 month
Created January 9, 2018
Jess Solin
on behalf of James Messerschmidt
You may get all further updates from the family. Feel free to reach out and we’d be happy to share where you may find future updates. Ryan has a long journey ahead of him and we are happy to share but not here anymore since every bit of information is taken from the gofundme from a bullying group making fun of our family. This will not be tolerated and updates will no longer be found here. Thank you! Update from Ryan's sister Update 1/16: Ryan, was full of emotion last night talking to his 7 month old daughter for the first time since all this happened. Ryan feels shocked & grateful to be back in the USA! His heart is flooded with all the compassion, kindness and positive vibes people have sent his way. He feels he will never be able to thank everyone enough. Doctors today got some results. Ryan had 6 different bacteria’s in his leg in Costa Rica and still has sepsis which is a rare jungle algae infection in his blood. We are waiting for new results for his leg. The doctors are working hard with new plans everyday! Please keep praying! UPDATE 1/14/18 from Ryan's Sister Jamie: Ryan flew home to the USA yesterday!  He made it back late last night to a hospital. The next step is to get a complete understanding of Ryan's condition. UPDATE No. 2 1/12/18 from Ryan's Sister Jamie:  Ryan had an x-ray on his heart. His heart was not receiving enough oxygen. His lungs have fluid in them, as well. He has been put on more oxygen to help with breathing. They also now have all of Ryan's remaining belongings and he has been accepted in a hospital! UPDATE 1/12/18 from Ryan's Sister Jamie:  Ryan is doing well and is stable! His infection has stopped spreading as of last night and his kidney function is better! UPDATE No. 2 1/11/18 from Ryan's Parents Jim & Pat: Ryan is undergoing his third surgery to remove dead, necrotic tissue and his kidneys are now infected and may need dialysis.  They are still trying everything they can to get him back to the US but are not allowed to fly him home until the doctor releases him. UPDATE 1/11/18 from Ryan's Sister Jamie & Parents Jim & Pat: Ryan underwent a second surgery this morning due to Necrotizing Fasciitis (a flesh eating bacteria) and they will continue to remove affected tissue.  He is under sedation so his movements do not spread the highly contagious infection.  His family is working to get a medi-vac transport back to the United States.  The US Embassy and Costa Rican police are investigating what happened to him. UPDATE No. 2  1/10/18 from Ryan's Parents Jim & Pat: Ryan is in quarantine with a flesh eating bacteria.  We are hoping to get him transfered to a different hospital soon. UPDATE 1/10/18 from Ryan's Parents Jim & Pat: We have learned that they are trying to save Ryan's left leg and he underwent surgery today and is in the ICU.  We are told that more surgeries will be needed and that he cannot leave the country until all bills are paid.  UPDATE 1/9/18 from Jamie (Ryan's sister): he's been found Thank you everyone for all the love and support! I am speechless at how much you all have done for my family. I have the best news! I just got off the phone with my brother! He is not well right now but he is alive! He was beaten, stabbed, tied up, and tortured. But, I really believe because of all the prayers and publicity he is alive! But we are not out of the woods yet. My husband and I will be flying there to get him ASAP! From the bottom of my heart thank you everyone! I’ll be so much happier when I see him and can give him a big hug! 1/8/18 from Jamie (Ryan's sister): I'm asking for a prayer chain! I believe prayer is stronger then we even realize. My brother (Ryan Messerschmidt) is still missing (going on 48 hours) and has been robbed in Costa Rica while traveling alone. The police and the U.S. Embassy are both involved. Please do not call him if you know him. Some guy from Costa Rica has his phone whom I spoke with along with my translator, police and embassy but we still do not know where he is. Please pray! I have been given a picture of Ryan thrown in a pickup unconscious, bloody, ripped off clothes, gashes all over him, and mud covering him, as well. He is still missing and there is a lot of dead end stories. We have everyone involved and will be learning more today. My husband and I (his sister) will be making plans with the embassy today to travel there. Please help me save my little brother’s life!! He is a daddy to a 7 month old little girl that needs him! Reason for this Campaign: ~To help pay for travel expenses for Ryan's family to fly to Costa Rica and bring him back.  ~To help cover Ryan's medical expenses while in Costa Rica and when he returns home.
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Part 1/3 (2-4-18 Update) The next 3 updates are all together. Read until you see Sincerely, The Family of Ryan Messerschmidt. Thank you!

Hello everyone, we would like to thoroughly update Ryan's trip to better explain what happened and how the donations will be spent. We have had a few individuals try to discredit our family and this GoFundMe. We will begin with Ryan’s story, followed by the actual relationship with drugs and alcohol, and ending with research. Let me start by quoting Jeff Dunsavage from the Missing Americans Project. He states, “The moment an American or other foreigner comes to harm in an exotic locale, the first response of “community activists” is to undermine his/her story, to declare them unfit for public sympathy and their families unworthy of compassion and voluntary support.” http://missingamericans.ning.com/m/blogpost?id=4224332:BlogPost:62117

Now to begin with Ryan’s story. Ryan went on this trip because he found cheap tickets at the last minute and felt he needed a break from life. He planned on two weeks just traveling to see jungles, beaches, mountains, etc. The first two days did not go well as he seemed "targeted" by a taxi driver, who drove right by the three hotels Ryan wanted to stop at, instead offering him a ride to a mansion where there were girls and drugs. This scared Ryan and the driver finally let him off at an expensive resort and charged him $300 for the long ride. The bungalow cost him $500 for one night but it was late and he wasn't going any further with that driver. He stopped at the resort bar and it was obvious that the bartender was in contact with the cab driver. The bartender told him that he was a "hot number" and he better meet him at the beach at 11 or he is "done." Ryan was in contact with us several times as he was afraid of what was going on. After a sleepless night, he had a rental car delivered from Liberia and he took off for the mountain, volcano, and jungle area quite a ways away. First night on the road, he slept in his car after having another incident. He checked into a motel near Liberia but left after security and the desk clerk banged on his door of his room asking way too many strange questions. “Are you traveling alone?” He was able to leave without paying--another odd targeting. We told him to come home but he really didn’t want them to ruin his vacation. Meanwhile, we called the U.S. Embassy about Ryan's run-ins with the cab drivers, bartenders, and motel workers. They were baffled but said, "Maybe he doesn't understand the Costa Ricans customs." He had three fun-filled days of hiking, hot springs, bridges, volcano, and jungles after finding a resort to stay at.

Then Ryan decided to head to a beach area for the weekend of January 5 - 7. This was a long drive, therefore, he spent the night of the 4th at a bed 'n breakfast on his way to Tamarindo. He spent the nights on the 5th and 6th at Tamarindo. We last talked to him January 7 early afternoon but then he never called and we couldn't get through to him after that. His sister called his cell phone late afternoon on Monday, January 8 and a Spanish-speaking man named Omar answered. Frantically, his sister found a Spanish-speaking translator who called Ryan's cell phone and talked to Omar. The translator also called local police to see if they knew anything. Omar said Ryan had left the bar and was jumped and robbed on his way back to his motel room. Police had a different but vague story about Ryan not being in custody of police but had contact with him and thought he was at the hospital. The translator called the hospital but Ryan wasn't there. When we were told he wasn't at the hospital, we thought we were getting the run-around. Police did say that Omar was a drug dealer and Omar had told the translator that he got Ryan's phone from a girl sitting next to Ryan at the bar. Omar wanted money to return the phone and fake bar tab. This is an important point as Ryan was sure his drink was drugged while talking to the girl next to him. Now, we were very worried and called the U.S. Embassy and government officials to put pressure on Costa Rica, national and local police to find Ryan since he was missing and something bad happened.
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Part 2/3 (2-4-18 Update)

Police reports were not written up to our knowledge but we can piece activities somewhat from what they told us through an interpreter and Ryan's recollection. Keep in mind Costa Rica’s police force is not the same as in the United States. We couldn’t trust anyone since some are corrupt. Ryan blacked out at the bar after being drugged. He awoke to two men barging in on him in his hotel room trying to rob him. He remembers taking off in a "fight or flight" mode and met a group of men that chased him. He remembers climbing a fence and running into the woods, then being caught, restrained, tortured, stabbed, then passing out until early light of morning. Ryan traveled with too many documents, unfortunately, and had his phone, birth certificate, social security card, and cash stolen. The police told us that someone took Ryan to the hospital but they didn't know who, which is very odd. Ryan says, a seemingly nice officer drove him back to his motel about 5 - 6:00 AM, left him and took off with his rental car. Then the officer returned with another guy a few hours later to take Ryan to the hospital. We were told hospital records showed he was there from 4 - 7:00 PM. Cover-up was already beginning as they didn't take him to the hospital right away, intending to keep things "quiet" and because they wanted to use his car. The police also told Ryan not to talk about what happened to him. At the hospital where Ryan was stitched up, but still felt threatened, the officer told Ryan, "Your car is MY car." Ryan demanded his keys in front of hospital staff, and the officer handed his car keys over to him. The officer left angry and another man wheeled him away in his wheelchair and told Ryan that he owes him money. Ryan felt very threatened, got up out of his wheelchair and somehow made it to his parked car. He remembers trying to drive back to the hot springs to soak his leg but his leg was way too painful. He slept in his car somewhat and kept moving to new places to avoid being found. Ryan did not have anyway of contacting us during this time period.

Police were now actively looking for him (per U.S. Embassy pressure) and had reports of his car and him being at multiple places. When found on the evening of Tuesday, January 9 he fell out of his car by a motel he had picked because of all the tourists which made him feel safer. We received a phone conference call setup by the U.S. Embassy with Ryan on the other end to talk to us. He had been found in dire need of medical attention in his rental car near a motel in Liberia where he was going to check in because there were a lot of tourists around and he felt safe. His Dad told him to go to the hospital with whoever he was with. Then, they got Ryan's sister on the phone and she convinced him to go back to Liberia’s public hospital. They made a promise to each other that he would stay at the hospital and she would be there the next day, Wednesday, January 10. Ryan also told his sister he was chased, restrained, tortured, and stabbed (hence the Facebook update). When his sister and husband arrived the next day, they found Ryan in the hospital fighting for his life! The Costa Rica doctor who was very kind that spoke broken English, explained his condition. He had some "BLADE" wounds that were already severely infected with necrotizing fasciitis from a flesh eating bacteria. He also had sepsis, a ventilator for breathing due to not enough oxygen going to his heart, failing kidneys, and fluid in his lungs. His condition continued to worsen and the Costa Rica doctor thought it would be best to get him airlifted if possible. His father was busy trying to line up an air-vac jet to pick him up in Liberia and bring him back to a Wisconsin hospital. This would be tricky because the Costa Rica doctor would have to stabilize him enough for a 10 - 12 hour air trip. The Costa Rica doctor thought it would be very important, since they did not have all the equipment needed to save his life if things continued going the direction they were. If Ryan would not have been flown back to the United States, the doctor stated the next steps would be a surgery to get a machine (that works similar to dialysis) connected to help his kidneys and also put Ryan in a drug-induced coma to control his breathing and oxygen going to his heart. Luckily, it worked out, as on Saturday, January 13, Ryan returned to a Wisconsin hospital around 10:00 PM. He is still in the hospital, stable, but requiring a lot of care and plastic surgery to close his wounds.
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Part 3/3 (2-4-18 Update)

Now for the relationship with drugs and alcohol. We are also asked to explain Ryan's activity on late Sunday night, January 7 in relation to drugs and alcohol. We knew something bad happened and the amount of "targeting" incidents beforehand really raised a red flag. Next "red flag" is "potent, toxic, veterinary drugs" were in his system when first admitted to the hospital on Monday, January 8. Ryan would never intentionally take or inject a veterinary drug. Then there is the connection between Omar "drug dealer per police" and the woman sitting next to Ryan in conversation with him at the bar. Finally, there's Ryan's account of what he remembers. Ryan remembers talking to this woman, who he had met earlier. She was a well-dressed business woman who spoke good English. He felt at ease talking to her. When he was almost done with his drink, he started feeling strange and out of touch but full of energy. He was thinking his drink must have been drugged. As these feelings started to overtake him, the woman suddenly "turned on him" and started badgering him. She stated, "I could have you killed." "You are losing it."

Next up is the research. A little research shows Costa Rica has a huge problem with Ketamine, a veterinary drug with the effects similar to PCP (angel dust). Ryan's recollection as to how he felt along with other people's description of his running away, give a "perfect picture" of Ketamine ingestion. In the first hour or so one commonly experiences "hallucinations, mania, and delirium." After that you usually "pass out," and "disorientation effects last up to 24 hours. Ketamine liquid is easily put in a drink and is a big problem in Costa Rica. You can read about the Ketamine issue in Costa Rica here: http://www.ticotimes.net/2015/10/01/health-officials-ketamine-cases

More research! So, why did they set him up and drug him? This kind of activity is more common than realized in Costa Rica but is kept quiet just like similar problems occurring in Cancun. The common "targeting" usually involves taxi drivers and/or hotel workers who spot a lone foreign traveler that would make an ideal victim. Then a well-dressed English-speaking business woman will engage in bar conversation with the victim, making him feel at ease while she drugs his drink. Then "1 - 2 thugs" keep watch and complete the operation "take money and valuables." This article is an identical timeline to what Ryan went through: http://www.latintravelvip.com/costa-rica-viper-lady/ Here is where Omar comes in. Ryan's big mistakes were letting his guard down at the bar, traveling alone, and not having a thorough vacation plan. He was targeted because he was traveling alone, a U.S. citizen, driving a new rental car, with money to spend. Another interesting fact is after Omar had Ryan's phone, log-in was attempted on Ryan's Facebook from Cancun, showing Omar's extended connections with obvious networking.

Some interesting quotes from the “Costa Rica Times,” date 3-04-17: #1) "Crime is increasing in Costa Rica and U.S. citizens are frequent victims." #2) "U.S. citizens are encouraged to exercise a high level of caution and vigilance due to increasing levels of violent crime." Another pertinent fact in an article in the “Costa Rica Guide” on violent crime in Costa Rica, "The Costa Rican government and businesses are aware that negative publicity from even a single incident involving the tourists could cost millions of dollars in lost revenue." More interesting facts from the “Costa Rican Times,” date 1-4-18: #1) “Costa Rica recorded its highest-ever annual murder rate in 2017, authorities said this week, blaming score-settling between gangs and drug trafficking for the rise.” #2) Their murder rate is 12.1 per 100,000 inhabitants. To compare the United states rate is 4.9 per 100,000 inhabitants. Keep in mind this is not including missing tourists, citizens, or expats whose bodies are never found. So these numbers basically reflect murders the under-trained, under-resourced, under-motivated authorities could not possibly ignore.

We did not set up the GoFundMe for Ryan, however, it is greatly appreciated. A concerned person from Ryan's hometown started it with the help of a couple others. The fund will be used to cover over $7500 travel/lodging expenses for flying Ryan's sister and her husband to Costa Rica and another $12,100 in hospital bills that had to be paid in full before his air-vac to Wisconsin. It was impossible to have any contact with Ryan or Costa Rica doctors from the U.S. and we are thankful Ryan’s sister and husband were able to drop everything and support Ryan in Costa Rica in person. There will also be many on-going family travel expenses, Ryan's care, etc. Thank you for your donation. It got Ryan home alive! It is very much appreciated.

Sincerely,

The Family of Ryan Messerschmidt
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Per Jamie: Ryan Update 1/16:

Ryan, was full of emotion last night talking to his 7 month old daughter, Aria, for the first time since all this happened. Ryan feels shocked & grateful to be back in the USA! His heart is flooded with all the compassion, kindness and positive vibes people have sent his way. He feels he will never be able to thank everyone enough. Doctors today got some results. Ryan had 6 different bacteria’s in his leg in Costa Rica and still has sepsis which is a rare jungle algae infection in his blood. We are waiting for new results for his leg. The doctors are working hard with new plans everyday! Please keep praying!
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$12,200 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 198 people in 1 month
Created January 9, 2018
Jess Solin
on behalf of James Messerschmidt
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