- Carla Stefaniak was on a trip to Costa Rica with her sister-in-law to celebrate her 36th birthday last week.
- She stayed an extra night in San Jose after her sister-in-law flew home, but told friends the Airbnb was “sketchy” and that the power was out.
- She last told a friend that she was going to ask the security guard to buy her some water on November 27 and hadn’t been heard from since.
- Police found her body covered in plastic bags near the Airbnb property and have arrested the security guard in connection to the killing.
The body of Carla Stefaniak, who went missing in Costa Rica last week, was found near the US tourist’s Airbnb, and the property’s security guard has been arrested, authorities announced on Tuesday.
Costa Rica’s head of the Judicial Investigation Department, Walter Espinoza, told NBC Miami that the body found partially buried near the Airbnb where Stefaniak had been staying was identified as the woman.
An autopsy revealed that Stefaniak died of head trauma.
Stefaniak, who lived in Miami, was in Costa Rica last week to celebrate her 36th birthday with her sister-in-law, April Burton.
Burton flew home on November 27, and Stefaniak planned on catching a flight the next day – but she never boarded the plane.
On November 27, after having an Uber driver giver her a tour of San Jose, she returned to her Airbnb around 5 p.m. to find the power was out and it was “raining crazy,” according to text messages to a friend seen by CBS News.
She said it was “pretty sketchy,” and later told a friend she was thirsty and was going to ask the security guard of the Airbnb to buy her some water, NBC News reported.
All communication stopped at 9 p.m.
Espinoza announced on Tuesday that 32-year-old Bismark Espinosa Martinez, a security guard for the Airbnb property where Stefaniak was staying, had been arrested after giving contradictory statements to the police.
It remains unclear what Martinez has been charged with.
Martinez originally told the owner of Stefaniak’s Airbnb that he saw the woman get into a car with her bags at 5 a.m. on November 28.
But after Stefaniak didn’t board the plane and was reported missing, police searched the Airbnb.
They found blood in the apartment, and found Stefaniak’s body partially buried nearby, covered in plastic bags.
Stefaniak’s family members have flown to Costa Rica amid the investigation not her death.
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