Family of Milwaukee man who died while in Costa Rica fought to bring him home

His family speaks to TMJ4

CREATED May. 7, 2013 - UPDATED: May. 7, 2013

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MILWAUKEE - More heartbreak for a family from Milwaukee who was trying to get their son home from Costa Rica.

Steve Flesch was beaten and robbed last week, and Tuesday he died. His family had been trying to get him back to Wisconsin for treatment, and they wish their cries for help had been heard.

"It's now walking into a whole different nightmare,” said Nikki Lannert, Flesch’s sister.

Flesch succumbed to devastating wounds he suffered when he was robbed and shot in the head in Costa Rica. He didn't have a medical directive, so his family begged senators, the embassy, even the president to help get him home for treatment.

"I probably will never leave the country after this experience,
Lannert continued. “Especially after you know that your government really isn't there to protect you."

Their battle isn't over. Flesch's parents, who flew down to be with him in the hospital, haven't been allowed to see him after getting the call that he died.

“The police stepped right in and wouldn't let them see my brother because now it's a murder investigation,” Lannert added.

She's been told since there are no more medical decisions to be made, his body will be released as early as Friday. The family believes that if only he'd been allowed to get home for treatment, he may have had a chance.

What they'll never know is what could have been.

"What kind of life could he have had? Lanner asked. “We don't know. Maybe this was just God's way of saying, ‘I'll make the choice for you.’"

The family had been raising money to pay for Flesch’s treatment, but now that money will go to his burial.

Watch the original story here.