Costa Rican authorities discover body behind missing Fla. woman's Airbnb

Cheryl Sanders
December 5, 2018

It is believed the body of Carla Stefaniak was found near the Airbnb where she was staying.

A man was arrested in Costa Rica Tuesday (Dec 4) over the suspected murder of a USA tourist who has been missing for a week, police said.

Stefaniak, of Hallandale Beach, had traveled to the country with her sister-in-law, April Burton, last week, but Burton left one day before her on Tuesday, she told CBS Miami.

The last time anyone heard from Stefaniak was the night of November 28, according to April Burton, her sister-in-law.

The two texted each other via WhatsApp throughout the day Wednesday, Burton said, until Stefaniak suddenly stopped responding to her messages that evening.

The property in which Carla Stefaniak a tourist from the United States was renting an apartment through Airbnb. Duncan Anderson  The Tico Times
The property in which Carla Stefaniak a tourist from the United States was renting an apartment through Airbnb. Duncan Anderson The Tico Times

Authorities found stains inside the apartment where Stefaniak was staying, "which are compatible with blood and which will be submitted to further investigation and comparison", Espinoza said.

The man arrested for the killing had worked at the apartment complex, the station said.

Her sister-in-law, April Antonieta, wrote in a Facebook post that on the day she went missing that Stefaniak had taken an Uber from Thrifty vehicle rental. The family is continuing to hold out hope that she is still alive. "We know she was abducted".

"The autopsy was completed today and we determined the body found initially matches that of Carla Stefaniak".

Costa Rican authorities have confirmed that the body belongs to her, and her death is now being investigated as a homicide, WSVN reported on December 4. According to a timeline provided to NBC News, Stefaniak told a friend online that the power to her Airbnb cut out amid heavy rains.

She was scheduled to fly home at 1pm the next day, on her birthday.

On the Facebook page they created for her disappearance, Stefaniak's family accused the local officials and U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica of not effectively "pursuing the matter" because "they feel she was rational at the time of her disappearance and got into a taxi of her own free will".

"Since 2013, Villa Le Mas has operated a small vacation rental facility located at San Antonio, Escazu, Costa Rica".

Friends said she sent photos of herself out on the town and she bought a purse and earrings.

"Costa Rica is portrayed as paradise that's safe for Americans", Jaime said.

"It was her birthday, and it makes me feel really bad". "We don't know why the media is announcing the identity of the body or what Costa Rica officials are trying to do by not allowing the family to view the remains before announcing anything". She Facetimed a friend in NY, telling him she was going to ask the security guard to buy her a bottle of water. We're going on six days not hearing from her.

The night before her flight, Stefaniak took an Uber ride around the town and then was dropped off at an Airbnb.

"He tried to Facetime her twice and he couldn't get through", Jaime said.

Other reports by iNewsToday