Brad Hunter: Vancouver sportsbook mogul’s death in Costa Rica murder or suicide?

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Canadians making a tragic one-way trip to paradise is, sadly, not a new phenomenon.

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But the shocking death of sportsbook entrepreneur Alex Aron is raising eyebrows among his friends and family.

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Aron, 38, originally from Vancouver, allegedly hanged himself on New Year’s Day in his luxury apartment in a compound in Costa Rica where he ran his business.

“Alex’s friends and family have their doubts,” a friend in the Central American country told The Toronto Sun on condition of anonymity.

Cops initially ruled Aron’s death a suicide, but noise from those who knew him best has now resulted in an inquest being called.

AVALON COUNTRY CLUB. AVALON COUNTRY CLUB
AVALON COUNTRY CLUB. AVALON COUNTRY CLUB

The source said that (US)$200,000 was missing from the digital mover and shaker’s condo at the Avalon Country Club. Also missing, according to the source, were some firearms and four Rolex watches.

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Friends claim they had seen the $200,000 in Aron’s apartment a week before his sudden and unexpected death. And in spite of his trials and tribulations with his ex-wife, Aron was “not depressed”.

“There are a lot of rich ex-pats in Costa Rica and they can be targets for bad people,” the source said.

There are a slew of questions about the death of Canadian sports book entrepreneur Alex Aron in Costa Rica. FACEBOOK
There are a slew of questions about the death of Canadian sports book entrepreneur Alex Aron in Costa Rica. FACEBOOK

Aron’s death has raised other questions, his friend said. The wild west of the sportsbook business.

“If he has firearms in the house, why didn’t he shoot himself? Why did he supposedly hang himself,” the source said. “Why wouldn’t he blow his brains out?”

His body was discovered by his brother, but the ceiling in the spot where he died was not particularly high. Certainly not the first choice to hang one’s self, the source said.

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“He was more or less lying down and there was way too much rope. Coupled with the lack of height, it doesn’t make any sense,” the source said. “Alex paid a couple of months rent ahead … why do that if you’re thinking about suicide.”

Those close to Aron believe that his death was money-related and foul play is the best bet.

But the source added that various people came and went from the Costa Rica condo.

“This all raises a lot of red flags. There are a lot of unanswered questions,” the source adds.

Toss in corrupt local cops and it’s all a bit untidy.

On Facebook, his sister Natalie Aron described her brother as “magic.”

“I don’t think he really knew the impact he had on people. But as I said, he was magic,” she wrote. “He was infectious. Even in his darkness, he could light up every room. His heart was massive, and he would have done anything and everything for the people he loved. If he loved you, he made sure you knew it.”

And tweaking the acute pain Alex Aron’s friends and family now feel are those unanswered questions.

bhunter@postmedia.com

@HunterTOSun

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