Body found in Costa Rica ID'd as Carla Stefaniak

Carla Stefaniak

Carla Stefaniak

On Tuesday, a family friend said they had waited all day outside the morgue to identify the body, only to be turned away by officials who maintained investigators needed more time.

The suspect was a security guard at the hotel Les Mas de Provence, in the mountainous area of San Antonio de Escazu, southwest of the capital, where the tourist was staying, authorities said.

Officials said Monday that dogs discovered a body in the backyard of the villa Stefaniak rented from AirBnB during her trip with her sister-in-law to celebrate Stefaniak's 36th birthday.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, blood was found in Stefaniak's room and a security guard who works at the Airbnb is being held in custody as authorities investigate.

A US State Department representative had told CNN that officials were aware of the reports of a missing American in Costa Rica.

Relatives said Stefaniak was scheduled to come back to Florida the next morning, on November 27, but no one had heard from her in five days, and her family feared the worst. "Alarmed, they discovered Stefaniak had never boarded her flight home, which was scheduled for departure around 1 p.m. on November 28".

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

Her brother, Mario Caicedo, told NBC News that Stefaniak checked in for her flight back to the U.S. on November 28 but she never boarded the flight. There, she Facetimed a friend from NY, telling him she was thirsty and was going to find a drink.

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Bismarck Espinoza Martinez, 32, the prime suspect, was arrested Tuesday in relation to her murder, after investigators swept the property and found blood stains in her and Martinez's rooms. "We want the world to know that we will never forget Carla", the post on Finding Carla says.

"As of this moment, all data gathered points to this being Carla", stated Walter Espinoza, the director of Costa Rica's Judicial Investigation Department. They said the body was partially buried and inside plastic, near the city of San Jose.

"Everything points to this being her body", Espinoza said.

The body was found Monday near a rental home where Carla Stefaniak stayed.

Bugra Demirel told the BBC: "It's a frightful wait, and every single minute that Costa Rican officials are not showing the body is just a tremendous amount of pain on the family".

Burton added: "For nearly six days to go by and no contact, she would have to have been abducted". Stefaniak had also checked into the flight, Jaime said, which she always did. I started sending her birthday messages and no-one had heard from her at all. Her companion flew home to Tampa a day early to get a better deal on the airfare, Jaime said.

That same night, she was Facetiming with a friend in NY when the call dropped about 9pm.

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