Family: Body found in Costa Rica belongs to Florida woman

Family Identifies Body Found in Costa Rica as Missing Florida Woman Carla Stefaniak

"Words can not express the devastation within her family and friends", her relatives said in a statement.

Her family confirmed authorities identified Stephaniak through fingerprint data.

According to its listing on TripAdvisor, the Villa le Mas is a compound with seven vacation apartments. "However, it's good that they got him", he said.

Family members said they identified a body found buried behind an Airbnb in Central America as Carla Stefaniak, a Miami woman who vanished while celebrating her 36th birthday there.

On Wednesday the Finding Carla Facebook page announced the positive ID after her family were finally allowed to see the body that was believed to have been Stefaniak's.

"Words can not express the devastation within her family and friends", a post on the "Finding Carla" Facebook page said. "We want the world to know that we will never forget Carla", the post on Finding Carla says.

"May God bless her soul".

Stefaniak's father Carlos (above with family friend Greg Zwolinsky) confirmed late Tuesday that the body was that of his daughter. Martinez was staying next door to Stefaniak and reportedly worked as a guard at the Airbnb complex in question.

An autopsy on Stefaniak showed multiple stab wounds to the "neck and upper extremities", as well as blunt force trauma to the head, the spokesman said.

Soon after, authorities said an unidentified body was found not far from the Airbnb.

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The Facebook page, set up to search for the missing tourist who was believed to have been kidnapped, also revealed it would not stop posting and following up on the story, which has garnered worldwide attention.

A suspect, Bismarck Espinoza Martinez, 32, is in custody in the case, officials said Tuesday during a news conference.

Martinez told Stefaniak's family that he saw her leaving the Airbnb with her luggage at about 5am on November 28 and getting into an unknown vehicle. "Stefaniak then took an Uber to an Airbnb about 30 minutes from the airport".

"The person linked to this homicide (Espinoza Martinez) was close to her and had the time and place to commit the crime", the spokesman said.

An Airbnb representative said the company is cooperating with local authorities in Costa Rica.

Carla Stefaniak had traveled to Costa Rica with her sister-in-law to celebrate her 36th birthday but her family began to worry when she failed to return to the United States on November 28 as planned. Her sister-in-law, April Burton, left the country last week, which is one day earlier than she was slated to return.

Stefaniak and Burton had been texting each other via WhatsApp, Burton said.

She was texting back-and-forth with Burton, complaining about the power going on-and-off due to the rain and at approximately 8pm, her last message read: "It's pretty sketchy here".

"Someone was interviewed and said she left for the airport at 5 a.m. when the flight was much later", South Florida private investigator Wayne Black said. Stefaniak also failed to respond to a number of birthday messages from family and friends.

Little did he know that would be the last time he would ever see his neighbor.

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