‘The story does not make sense’: Florida woman disappears while on Costa Rica vacation, fails to board plane back home

Family and friends are desperately trying to find a Florida woman they say has disappeared in Costa Rica.

The Miami Herald reports that Carla Stefaniak, 36, has not been heard from or seen since Tuesday and failed to board a plane back to her home in Miami the following day.

Stefaniak’s loved ones are pleading for information about her whereabouts.

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“Carla Stefaniak is STILL MISSING. I cannot stress enough how crucial it is that we keep sharing her story. We cannot let the authorities forget her and let this go,” reads a Facebook post from her sister-in-law, April Burton. “We want to bring our girl back home!”

Carla Stefaniak is STILL MISSING. I cannot stress enough how crucial it is that we keep sharing her story. We cannot let…

Posted by Finding Carla on Saturday, December 1, 2018


Stefaniak reportedly last communicated with relatives on Tuesday night, when she texted them that the electricity in her Airbnb rental was being spotty. Burton had been with Stefaniak in Costa Rica for her birthday celebration but had to return to the United States a day earlier.

Family spokesperson Katie Gardner said Stefaniak gave Burton a ride to the San Jose airport on Nov. 27 with a rental car and returned the vehicle. She then used an Uber to stay at the Airbnb about a half-hour from the airport.

Stefaniak texted Burton throughout the day with updates on her trip, which continued when she returned to the Airbnb. The last text message Burton got from Stefaniak was around 8 p.m.

“At midnight Eastern time, Burton texted Stefaniak to wish her a happy birthday but did not receive a response,” Gardner said. “The next day, Burton got a call from a friend who said Stefaniak had not responded to any happy birthday texts or messages. Alarmed, they discovered Stefaniak had never boarded her flight home, which was scheduled for departure around 1 p.m. on Nov. 28.”

The family has talked with the Uber driver from the previous day, who was scheduled to give Stefaniak a ride to the airport on Nov. 28. What that person said is consistent with information from the Airbnb owners and security guards: Stefaniak left the Airbnb around 5 a.m. with her luggage and got into an unknown vehicle.

Stefaniak’s brother is now in Costa Rica and is working with police in an effort to locate his sister.

“The Uber driver arrived around 8 a.m. to pick up Stefaniak but could not find her,” Gardner said. “However, her family says the story does not make sense since her flight was not until that afternoon and the airport was only 30 minutes away. And since she had already used that Uber driver the day before, why would she have called a different Uber?”

Stefaniak immigrated to the United States from Venezuela in 2000. She works for a Miami insurance agency.

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[Feature Photo:Carla Stefaniak/Facebook]