Body found where missing US tourist was staying in Costa Rica
A body was discovered buried on the grounds of the Costa Rica Airbnb where a Florida woman stayed the night she disappeared, officials said.
Early Tuesday, members of Carla Stefaniak’s family, who went to the Central American country to look for her, told ABC Action News they would be heading to the morgue to identify the body.
Cadaver dogs uncovered the grave Monday in a mountainous area 200 feet behind the San Jose apartment Stefaniak, an insurance agent from Miami, was staying in last week to celebrate her 36th birthday, the country’s Judicial Investigation Agency told the outlet.
Walter Espinoza, the Director General of the OIJ told reporters, “the body was in a state of decomposition but the preliminary observation does verify the body is a woman.”
Blood was also discovered inside the Airbnb apartment, Espinoza said.
A lawyer representing Villa Le Mas, the apartment complex that houses the Airbnb told the outlet the owners are cooperating with authorities and that the facility has been temporarily closed.
“We deeply saddened and devastated by the tragic events,” their statement says. “We hope that once the facts are determined, the perpetrator is brought to justice.”
The last time Stefaniak’s family heard from her was the night of Nov. 27 when she texted her sister-in-law April Burton that the lights were going on and off and that “It’s pretty sketchy here.”
Stefaniak had checked in to the Airbnb, called “Villa Buena Vista” in San Antonio de Escazu for one night.
The guards at the complex told the family she left at 5 a.m. with her bags and got into an Uber to head to the airport, 30 minutes away. But the family said the flight, which she checked in for but never boarded, wasn’t until 1:30 p.m.
The Airbnb listing has since been removed.
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