Thursday, 13 December, 2018


Body of tourist Carla Stefaniak identified, suspect detained

Carla Stefaniak Carla Stefaniak
Bennie Garza | 05 December, 2018, 19:11

Stefaniak, 36, was in Costa Rica celebrating her birthday.

Espinoza said all data gathered indicates the body is Stefaniak's; however, investigators are waiting to compare fingerprints from the body with Federal Bureau of Investigation records and noted dental and DNA records may be used to definitively identify the body as Stefaniak if fingerprints are not conclusive.

One of the security guards working at the property has been detained as a suspect, Espinoza said.

Ms Stefaniak was staying at an Airbnb in the San Antonio de Escazu neighbourhood when she messaged her sister-in-law April Burton that the power had cut out amid torrential rain on November 27.

The family of a Tampa woman who disappeared in Costa Rica says a body found on Monday is hers.

Martinez, who was in the room next to where Stefaniak was staying, gave contradictory statements to police when he was questioned, Espinoza said. A family friend told Spectrum Bay News 9's Dave Jordan that Stefaniak's father, brother and friend were at the morgue in Costa Rica but were not allowed to see the body. The last time Burton spoke to Stefaniak, she told her that it was raining insane and the power went out.

The family said Stefaniak had checked in online for her flight and ordered an Uber to pick her up later that morning. Jaime gave this account of the missing woman's last hours: Stefaniak made a phone call the night of November 27.

An autopsy revealed that the victim suffered a blunt force wound to the head and lacerations on the neck and arms, he said. Before the call dropped she said to him, 'I'm thirsty. "So friendly, so bubbly, loves to travel, loves fashion, loves social media", she said. He has been living in Costa Rica since June.

The body was found partly buried in plastic bags in the back of the property, roughly 1,000 feet from where Stefaniak had been staying, officials said to WFTS-TV.

Both Caicedo and his wife, who had been traveling with Stefaniak, are skeptical she would leave that early because her flight wasn't scheduled until more than eight hours later. "Super Sketchy", she wrote.

"Someone was interviewed at the Airbnb and said she left for the airport at 5 a.m., and the flight was much later".

She later communicated with a friend via Facetime and said that she wanted to go out that night but was too exhausted.

OIJ said the investigation remains ongoing.

"At midnight Eastern time, Burton texted Stefaniak to wish her a happy birthday but did not receive a response", Gardner said.

"[She said, ] 'I'm just going to ask the guards to buy me a bottle of water, '" Burton told FOX 13 News last week. He said, "To be totally honest...we didn't get vibe that something had happened".

"The owners are fully cooperating with the authorities in the investigation and we hope that once the facts are determined, the perpetrator is brought to justice", the attorney, who was not identified, told the Tampa station.

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