Sunday, 26 May, 2019

Carla Stefaniak was found dead in Costa Rica. Here's what we know

The murder of a US tourist has dealt a fresh blow to Costa Rica's image as a tourist destination The murder of a US tourist has dealt a fresh blow to Costa Rica's image as a tourist destinationMore
Deanna Wagner | 06 December, 2018, 18:41

Airbnb removed Villa le Mas - a compound with seven vacation apartments - from its site and said Wednesday that it had reached out to family members to offer condolences. "However, it's good that they got him", he said.

The body of Carla Stefaniak, a USA citizen reported missing while on vacation in Costa Rica, has been found, her family confirmed, as authorities announced a suspect is in custody in the case.

On Tuesday, a body was found half-buried and covered in plastic in a wooded area about 1,000 feet (305 meters) from the hotel.

"Carla's father confirmed that the body belongs to Carla".

Stefaniak's family also said they are not done fighting for her, saying they plan to continue to press authorities to look into the possible involvement of more people in her death.

"Everything she did she always shared with friends and that's when we knew definitely something was up as soon as we lost contact with her", Demirel said.

'We will never forget the joy she brought into our lives, how much she made us laugh.

"May God bless her soul".

Before the identity of the body was confirmed, Stefaniak's father Carlos Caicedo told WSVN the family was distraught over the discovery. Pictured above is the AirBnb rental where she was staying.

An autopsy revealed that Stefaniak suffered a blunt force wound to the head and cuts on the neck and arms.

Soon after, authorities said an unidentified body was found not far from the Airbnb.

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On Tuesday Costa Rican officials arrested 32-year-old Bismark Espinosa Martinez, a guard at the Villa Buena Vista resort near San Jose, Costa Rica.

The Facebook page, set up to search for the missing tourist who was believed to have been kidnapped, also revealed it would not stop posting and following up on the story, which has garnered worldwide attention. The Judicial Investigation Department said Bismarck Espinosa Martinez, who worked as a security guard on the property, was taken into custody, according to NBC News.

"That's when we knew that something's not right", she said.

"The person linked to this homicide (Espinoza Martinez) was close to her and had the time and place to commit the crime", he said.

Stefaniak traveled to Costa Rica to celebrate her 36th birthday, according to the family.

On Nov. 28 - her birthday - Stefaniak did not board her scheduled flight home and family members grew anxious when she didn't respond to messages wishing her a happy birthday.

Stefaniak's co-workers said she was an excellent employee who could get along with anyone.

She was texting back-and-forth with Burton, complaining about the power going on-and-off due to the rain and at approximately 8pm, her last message read: "It's pretty sketchy here".

She then had a FaceTime call with a friend and mentioned that she might ask a security guard at the Airbnb to buy her water because of the storm.

After Stefaniak failed to board her November 28 flight to Florida, the family discovered a troubling detail: she had checked in for her flight on the 26th. She loved to travel, enthusiastically documenting trips to Cuba, Mexico, Iceland and Switzerland on Instagram.