Son of Alaska adventurer Roman Dial missing in Costa Rica

Craig MedredAlaska Dispatch News

A search is reportedly underway in the wilds of Costa Rica for the son of a well-known Alaska adventurer who’s been missing almost two weeks.

The Tico Times, an English-language online newspaper based in San José, Costa Rica, on Thursday reported that Cody Roman Dial -- known to many in Alaska as Roman Jr. or R2 -- is lost somewhere in the 164-square-mile Corcovado National Park on the southwest coast of the Central American nation.

A 27-year-old student on sabbatical from his pursuit of a master's degree in environmental science, Dial grew up in Anchorage and the wilderness of the 49th state. He is, like his father, hugely experienced in surviving in the wilds.

Alaska Pacific University Professor Roman Dial has crossed Alaska's North Slope on foot and trekked all over Tibet, Australia and other corners of the world. A veteran adventure racer, Dial was often accompanied on his adventures by R2 or his wife, Peggy, Cody's mother.

Neither of the Dials could be reached at their Anchorage home on Thursday because the phone was constantly busy. Friends said 54-year-old Roman was trying to get to Costa Rica to join the search. 

The Tico Times said Red Cross officials initially revealed that rangers in the Costa Rican park on the Osa Peninsula were looking for Cody, who reportedly hasn't been seen since July 10.

He had been traveling in Latin America since January. A friend who posted on his dad's Facebook page Thursday said Cody "was in the backcountry either researching or kayaking (more details to come) in the Corcovado region. I will be posting more information soon."

"I know I have many FB friends in Costa Rica, so if you're willing and able to help please message me. Maybe you can call a few hospitals for us to check if he's there, as that's very difficult to do from here. "

Since Feb. 1, according to Costa Rican authorities, guides have been required for all hikers in Corcovado Park. There are no reports of Cody hiring a guide, but the Dials are not known for being sticklers about rules.

The Tico Times reported that "based on emails between father and son, Red Cross search-and-rescue coordinator Gilberth Doundi believes the missing hiker started his trip near the Conte River near the La Tarde wildlife area in the park’s eastern zone. That is an area closed to tourists. When describing his planned hike in emails, Dial also mentioned the Los Patos and La Sirena ranger stations, but park rangers have no record of him passing through."

The lack of a certain route plan hampers any search effort. 

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.