World Media

Family identifies body found in Costa Rica as missing US woman

Family identifies body found in Costa Rica as missing US woman

A social media page created to help find Stefaniak posted an update that reads in part, "Words can not express the devastation within her family and friends".

Burga told the BBC: "It's a disgusting wait, and every single minute that Costa Rican officials are not showing the body is just a tremendous amount of pain on the family".

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.

Villa Le Mas's attorney, Federico Jenkins, said the owners are cooperating with the authorities in the investigation.

The body found in the mountainous area of San Antonio de Escazu, southwest of the capital, where the tourist was staying, "is that of Carla Lucia Stefaniak, 36, who had been reported missing", the Judicial Investigation Agency (OIJ) said.

"He said her phone died", Burton said last week, "and that was the last we heard from her".

"When she was leaving, I happened to be outside and see her with her luggage and stuff", Rivelli said.

"Her mom is absolutely devastated".

"In the following days, we will release critical digital leads of the investigation, continue asking questions about the involvement of others in Carla's murder", said the statement posted to Facebook. "We checked her email and she did not take an Uber at 5:10 a.m. May god bless her soul".

In a Facebook post on Tuesday afternoon, the family said they're still hoping for answers.

Espinoza Martinez had been staying in the apartment next to Stefaniak's rental, the spokesman said.

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

The Tampa Bay Times reports an autopsy found stab wounds on her arms and neck, and the cause of death was determined to be a blow to the head.

Investigators found blood inside the Airbnb where she was staying. The only suspect is a guard of the hotel who gave a testimony found to contradict the facts found on videos.

Martinez told Stefaniak's family that he saw her leaving the Airbnb with her luggage at about 5am on November 28 and getting into an unknown vehicle.

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

The 36-year-old had been on holiday in Costa Rica with her sister-in-law April Burton, who had to leave a day early due to an obligation back home.

Stefaniak's sister-in-law left Costa Rica on November 27 and Stefaniak was due to depart the next day - but she never made her flight.

She had dropped Burton at the airport and returned their rental vehicle before taking a 30-minute Uber to an Airbnb that she had checked in to for her final night.

Stefaniak opted then to stay at a hostel closer to the airport before her flight the following day, her brother Carlos Caicedo told WSVN.

Authorities also said she appears to have been murdered. She was seen leaving the Airbnb with her luggage around 5 a.m. local time and getting into a different vehicle, despite having scheduled the Uber to come pick her up later in the morning, the Herald reported. Her family reported her missing when she didn't return home. Stefaniak also failed to respond to a number of birthday messages from family and friends.

Bugra Demirel of Tallahassee, said in a telephone interview that Stefaniak, who was an insurance agent, loved to travel and post photos on Instagram.


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