The father of missing Carla Stefaniak has confirmed the body found wrapped in plastic close to where she vanished is his daughter.
Carlos Caicedo broke down in tears after visiting the morgue to identify the 36-year-old, who went missing from an Airbnb apartment while on holiday in Costa Rica to celebrate her birthday.
A security guard who had been staying in the apartment next door has been arrested.
The Nicaraguan suspect, named as 32-year-old Bismarck Espinosa Martinez, made conflicting statements to police, according to officials.
It comes as police confirmed Carla had suffered stab wounds around the neck and a blow to the head.
Investigators also announced they believe the motive in the death was sexual as her body was discovered half naked.
They are yet to find Carla’s belongings, including her luggage.
Tracker dogs discovered the "badly decomposed" body partially buried in plastic bags at the back of the Airbnb where Carla was staying the night in the San Jose suburb of Escazu.
Blood was also discovered inside the property and sent to labs for testing, according to ABC Action News.
Carla, from Florida, had been in the country celebrating her birthday with sister-in-law April Burton.
Ms Burton returned home the day before Carla, who was last seen on November 27.
She was due to catch a flight home the following day but never boarded the plane.
Hours before she went missing, it is thought she took an Uber and went sightseeing before being dropped off at the Airbnb, where she was set to stay for one night.
In a final text message at around 8pm, she told a friend the power was going out, adding "it’s pretty sketchy here" before all communication stopped.
Family and friends texted Carla for her birthday on November 28, but received no response. She had also not been online raising even more concerns from her family.
"It was her birthday, and she loves to be on social media," Carla’s brother, Carlos Caicedo, told CBS News .
"I’m guessing every single app that there is that you can communicate [on] — I’m sure she was on it."
Her family previously expressed fears that Carla had been kidnapped, saying she was in "imminent danger".
The Airbnb rental owner and local security guards said they saw her get into an unknown car with her luggage at around 5am, according to the family.
But Ms Burton told Fox News : "None of us really believe this 5am story because it really doesn’t make sense.
"Her flight was at 1.30pm, and she was only 20 to 30 minutes away from the airport. She is never early for anything."
She added: "There’s no reason for her not to contact anyone."
The Airbnb listing for "Villa Buena Vista" located at Calle Hoja Blanca, in San Antonio de Escazú has since been removed from Airbnb’s website.
The lawyer representing the complex that houses the Airbnb told ABC Action News they were "deeply saddened and devastated by the tragic events that occurred last week" and said that the owners were cooperating with authorities.
He said the rental had been temporarily closed while officials conduct the investigation.
The lawyer said in a statement: "Since 2013, Villa Le Mas has operated a small vacation rental facility located at San Antonio, Escazu, Costa Rica. We have received over a thousand guests with wonderful reviews about the property and our service.
"We are deeply saddened and devastated by the tragic events that occurred last week. The owners are fully cooperating with the authorities in the investigation and we hope that once the facts are determined, the perpetrator is brought to justice.
"Our deepest sympathies are with the family of the victim of this horrible crime.
"While the investigation is ongoing, and since the focus of the owners is the comfort of our guests, the facility has been temporarily closed."
In Carla’s last Instagram post on November 26, she posed lying down next to a pool in Costa Rica with tropical plants in the background.
She captioned it: “I’m going to miss the place."
Meanwhile, Mr Cadicedo has vowed to never let his "happy" and "smiling" daughter be forgotten.
In a message on the Finding Carla Facebook page, the heartbroken family said "words cannot express the devastation" they are feeling.
They added: We want the world to know that we will never forget Carla.
"We will never forget the joy she brought into our lives, how much she made us laugh. We will always be with her and we know she will always be with us. May god bless her soul."
Top news stories from Mirror Online
Source: Read Full Article