A video released by Costa Rican authorities show the moment a security guard accused of killing Florida woman Carla Stefaniak in Costa Rica was taken into custody.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Stefaniak, 36, spent the week in Costa Rica celebrating her birthday, but never boarded her flight back to Miami on November 28. Authorities said she was attacked before could make her flight, inside Apartment 8 at the Airbnb Villa La Mas, in San Antonio de Escazú. A security guard at the Airnbnb, 32-year-old Bismark Espinosa Martinez, who stayed in Apartment 7, was arrested Tuesday in connection with Carla’s murder.
According to the head of the Costa Rica’s Judicial Investigation Department, Walter Espinoza, the 36-year-old lost her life due to a possible sexual assault. Authorities found Carla partially nude, wrapped in a plastic bag and buried behind the Airbnb she stayed at. Espinoza declined to elaborate on the details of the attack, but indicated the victim had been hit on the head and stabbed on the neck and arms.
A medical examiner reportedly wrote that Carla died from the neck wounds.
Authorities also found evidence of a struggle inside Apartment 8, including blood and fluids that are currently being processed at a state lab. Investigators continue to look for evidence, including Carla’s luggage, which has yet to be found.
“I guess that Carla fought,” the victim’s father, Carlos Caicedo Sr., told ABC Action News. “[They] cut the jugular and then [attacked] the head after.”
Carla’s brother, Carlos Caicedo Jr., said that he spoke with Martinez when the family arrived in Costa Rica earlier this week to search for the victim. Martinez apparently told Caicedo Jr. and Carla’s sister-in-law, April Burton, that he last saw Carla at 5 a.m. on November 28, leaving the Airbnb with her luggage.
“We went to the villa. This guy shook our hands, looked us in the eye and told us his fake story,” Caicedo Jr. said. “I can’t believe it.”
Burton, who left a day early to return to the U.S. while Carla decided to stay an extra day alone, said Martinez told her that Carla got into an Uber early morning on November 28, despite her flight not leaving until later in the afternoon.
“The guard told us that she left at 5 in the morning with all of her bags and got into an Uber. She wouldn’t do that; her flight was at 1:30 p.m. She’s never been early for anything in her life she wouldn’t leave to go to the airport at 5:30 a.m.,” Burton told ABC Action News.
According to police, Martinez, from Nicaragua, was an immigrant to Costa Rica, and had been staying there since June. Authorities indicated that he was working at the Airbnb without proper documentation. The Airbnb management is said to be cooperating with law enforcement.
Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.
[Feature Photo: Carla Stefaniak, Handout/Bismark Espinosa Martinez, Facebook]