Man arrested in death of United States tourist in Costa Rica

Man arrested in death of United States tourist in Costa Rica

Walter Espinoza, a government spokesman said in a press conference that they still can not provide any details or confirm that the body belongs to 36-year-old Stefaniak.

"As a effect of this tracking, at midday we found the decomposing body of a person and according to preliminary investigations it's the body of a woman", stated Chief Walter Espinosa of the Costa Rican Judicial Police force.

"Costa Rica is portrayed as paradise that's safe for Americans", Jaime said. He will spend at least the next three months behind bars.

On Dec. 3, reports said that a body was located on the Airbnb property where she was staying.

Authorities added an autopsy confirmed that Stefaniak's cause of death was due to head, neck, and other injuries.

A Facebook page that is being updated by a family friend says relatives have not identified the remains.

Her brother Carlos Caicedo said he spoke with the property owner about what his security guards told him about Stefaniak's departure.

Martinez has been in Costa Rica since June and, according to police, worked as a guard at the hotel where Stefaniak was staying.

"He presented many contradictions", Espinosa said. Burton had traveled to Costa Rica with Stefaniak, but she left one day before her.

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Burton returned to the USA after five days. "And then she left", he said.

Stefaniak was last seen November 27 dropping her sister-in-law off at the airport in San José.

Stefaniak hasn't been seen or heard from since Tuesday, November 27. She also texted that it was pouring rain and that the power was out. Ms Stefaniak had planned to fly back to the USA the following day but never arrived for her flight.

The night prior to Stefaniak's flight, she took an Uber downtown and was dropped off at an Airbnb in San Jose. She was back at her villa between 4 and 5 p.m. "Someone's not telling the truth because that's not in her character".

"So we don't know if it's the guards, we don't know if it's the Airbnb guy, we don't know if it's both", said her sister-in-law April Burton. "That's the last we heard from her".

Her phone went completely dark since that phone call that was made at 9 p.m. on Tuesday. However, it came back on for a brief moment after midnight. But when Stefaniak never got off the plane on Wednesday, her family knew something was wrong. "She's only 20 or 30 minutes from the airport", Burton said. "She has four [pieces of] luggage, so this story doesn't make sense".

Caicedo, Stefaniak's father, arrived in Costa Rica and was working with officials in the search.

"I just had a weird feeling even before I got to the airport", Jaime said. "You can't imagine how am I. Devastated".

Since her disappearance, thousands of people gathered online to help find her; the hashtag #FindingCarla began to circulate.

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