Six-Part Series Premieres Sunday, May 22 at 10/9c
on National Geographic Channel
“You don’t know how bad agony can be until your son has gone missing and no one can tell you what’s happened. It’s a pain that keeps me awake every night, and it’s the same pain that drives me on my search for answers.” — Roman Dial, father and National Geographic explorer
National Geographic Channel, a brand synonymous with exploration and adventure, has announced a new foray into the true-crime genre with a covert investigation that hits close to home. In July 2014, 27-year-old experienced outdoorsman Cody Dial, the son of esteemed National Geographic Explorer Roman Dial, embarked on an expedition through the Corcovado National Park in Costa Rica — a dense rain forest in a region known for illegal gold-mining and illicit activity. He never emerged. Did he get lost? Did he get hurt? Or, did something far more sinister happen?
Cody’s parents, Roman and Peggy Dial, have repeatedly contacted the U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica, begging for help, and they have spent months searching the region on their own with few results. Now they’ve returned to Costa Rica, and this time, with a team of highly trained independent investigators and a camera crew in tow. “I hoped private investigators and the presence of a film crew would add urgency and create new momentum in the search,” explained Roman Dial. “I was right — within a week, we received a significant break in the case.”
“Missing Dial is more than just a true-crime series where filmmakers look back at past cases,” explained Tim Pastore, president, original programming & production for National Geographic Channel. “National Geographic not only captured the sensitive and personal journey of the Dials, but also exposed in real time the nuances of this intricate and delicate missing person investigation as clues and leads were being unearthed.”
No stone is left unturned in the search for Cody. Roman, along with a former DEA special agent and a retired United States Air Force pararescue jumper/wilderness expert spent nearly eight months in Costa Rica. There, they interviewed every witness, interrogated every suspect and trekked deep into the jungle in pursuit of new leads. This series pushes further and digs deeper into the mystery, retracing Cody’s last-known whereabouts and using hidden cameras and fake identities to uncover a web of lies, surprising clues and a shocking plot twist that rivals that of a blockbuster movie.
The investigative team:
Roman Dial – A renowned Alaskan adventurer and the pioneer of several adventure racing sports — including packrafting, long-distance wilderness ice-skating and canopy trekking — Roman is also a professor of mathematics and biology at Alaska Pacific University. He is best known for his National Geographic sponsored traverse of the Alaska Range via mountain bike and packraft in 1996. In 1993, Roman took his then 6-year-old son Cody on his first expedition: a 60-mile trek across Umnak Island in the Aleutians. They went on to complete several wilderness trips together in Alaska, Borneo, Bhutan, Mexico, Costa Rica and Australia. Since Cody’s mysterious disappearance while on an expedition in Costa Rica in 2014, Roman has spent much of his time searching for the truth.
Kenneth Fornier – A retired USAF pararescue jumper, Ken is a highly skilled wilderness expert in search, rescue and recovery. He is known for infiltrating dangerous environments, dealing with local populations and building networks of information to achieve results.
Carson Ulrich – A former DEA special agent, Carson has worked in Central America for the past two decades. He knows all the players on the ground, as this is his area of operation. Just back from two tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, Carson is highly skilled at getting results in hostile situations and is fluent in Spanish, which helped him get information from locals during the investigation.