A day after Costa Rica authorities confirmed a body found behind an Airbnb rental was that of Carla Stefaniak, her family positively identified her.
CNN reports that Carla’s dad was allowed to see her body on Tuesday night, following an announcement from a Costa Rican police spokesperson, who indicated a security guard, Bismark Espinosa Martinez, 32, had been arrested for her murder.
Detectives had apparently became suspicious of Martinez days before they found Carla. On November 28, while being questioned by investigators, his answers were inconsistent, according to the head of the Costa Rica’s Judicial Investigation Department, Walter Espinoza.
Martinez, originally from Nicaragua, left for Costa Rica in June and was staying in the apartment next to the Airbnb Carla stayed in on her final night in Costa Rica. The victim stayed an extra day alone in Costa Rica after her sister-in-law left for the U.S. due to prior obligations, which is when Martinez was said to have killed Carla.
One of the last messages Carla sent to loved ones indicated that she thought the area she was staying in was “sketchy.”
Martinez was arrested Monday and remains behind bars.
“The person linked to this homicide (Espinoza Martinez) was close to her and had the time and place to commit the crime,” Espinoza explained.
Authorities found Stefaniak partially buried and wrapped in a plastic bag behind the Airbnb she stayed at in San Antonio de Escazú. She reportedly had blunt force trauma to her head and multiple stab wounds on her “neck and upper extremities.” Further, investigators found blood stains and fluids inside the Airbnb apartment she rented.
Stefaniak was in Costa Rica for six days celebrating her birthday. She stayed in different beach towns in San Jose with her sister-in-law but on the night before her flight, she dropped her rental car off at the airport and chose to stay at the Airbnb Villa Le Mas apartment near the airport, according to ABC.
The night before her flight home, she stopped posting updates on social media and stopped returning calls and texts, something her family said was unusual. The lack of communication raised flags for the victim’s family, which heightened when she never boarded her flight back home.
The story continues to develop. Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.
[Feature Photo:Carla Stefaniak/Facebook]