Carla Stefaniak

BREAKING: Body found in Costa Rica confirmed as missing Carly Stefaniak, arrest made

A body found in Costa Rica on Monday has been identified as 36-year-old Florida woman, Carla Stefaniak, who was overseas vacationing for her birthday.

NBC2 reports that according to the head of the Costa Rica’s Judicial Investigation Department, Walter Espinoza, Carla died from trauma. Authorities found her body wrapped in plastic and partially buried behind the Airbnb she was staying at.

Bismark Espinosa Martinez, a 32-year-old security guard for the Airbnb property, has been arrested and charged with Carla’s murder. Espinoza said Martinez continued to give contradicting statements when authorities questioned him.

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As CrimeOnline previously reportedCarla left her Miami home for a birthday vacation a little less than two weeks ago, excited to celebrate overseas with her sister-in-law in Costa Rica. She stayed her final day alone before plans to return home, but she never made her flight.

CBS reports that a security guard claimed he saw  Stefaniak at around 5 a.m. on November 28, leaving her Airbnb rental. It’s the last known sighting of her. Stefaniak’s brother, Carlos Caicedo, however, said that it would have been odd for her leave that early, as her flight wasn’t until later that afternoon. 

“Because her flight was at 1:30, and she was only 20 to 30 minutes away from the airport. And she is never early for anything.”

Stefaniak dropped a rental car off at the airport on November 27, the day her her sister-in-law took a flight back to the U.S. for a prior engagement. Alone for her last day in Costa Rica, Stefaniak took a tour of San Jose with an Uber driver, then later check in for her flight back and arranged for an Uber drive to pick her up the following morning.

Caicedo said his sister had been checking in regularly while in Costa Rica, but after around 8 p.m. on the night before her flight home, all communication ceased, aside from a message to a friend at around 8 p.m. that said it was “raining crazy” and “it’s pretty sketchy here.”

The rain apparently knocked the power out in Costa Rica on the night before Stefaniak was scheduled to leave. She reportedly told a friend during a FaceTime call that she planned to ask the Airbnb security guard to buy her water, according to NBC News.

The following morning, the Airbnb host told a security guard that Stefaniak left the Airbnb rental at 5 a.m., carrying luggage. The Uber driver who arrived at 8 a.m. to pick her up reportedly said she was nowhere to be found.

“The Uber driver arrived around 8 a.m. to pick up Stefaniak but could not find her,” family spokesperson Katie 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.”

Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.

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[Feature Photo:Carla Stefaniak/Facebook]