Skip to main content

Alleged killers of boater are arrested

Police arrested two suspects involved in the murder of a man aboard his board his boat that was anchored in the Rio Dulce of Guatemala on Aug. 16, a week after the incident occurred, according to a report in The Log newspaper.

The suspects, brothers Carlos, 19, and Elfido Estrada, 33, were found in the village of Esmeralda and were arrested when police found them in possession of the deceased boater’s binoculars and a large quantity of marijuana, according to the report.

On Aug. 9, four men with machete allegedly came aboard Dan and Nancy Dryden’s Southern Cross 39 sailboat when they docked in MonkeyBay near the Rio Dulce region of Guatemala. The husband and wife, both in their 60s, were experienced cruisers who had reportedly anchored there the night before without incident. As the husband made dinner in the galley shortly before 10 p.m., he heard a noise on deck and went up to investigate, his family told reporters.

The intruders went to the electrical panel and turned off the cabin lights, using their own flashlights to carry out the attack, according to the report. They went to Nancy’s jewelry box and demanded money, and when they only had a little Guatemalan currency aboard they became angry. At this point, Dan Dryden grabbed his own machete onboard and tried to fight back, but was hacked to death, according to the report.

The intruders fled after failing to find keys for the boat or the dinghy. Nancy Dryden, who reportedly suffered a punctured lung, was able to crawl to the VHF radio to call for help from other boats at the anchorage.

According to the Dryden family, she will return to the U.S. with her husband’s ashes, according to the report.

Police will continue to investigate this incident as well as two other forced boarding that occurred around the same time, minus injuries.

- Elizabeth Ellis