Venezuelan tourist killed in Costa Rica

Carla Stefaniaks father Carlos Caicedo and her long-time friend Greg Zwolinski Dec. 4 2018

WFTSABC News interviewed Carla Stefaniak's father Carlos Caicedo and her long-time friend Greg Zwolinski Dec. 4 2018

The family of 36-year old Carla Stefaniak has gone to the morgue in Costa Rica to identify a body that might belong to the Florida woman who went missing in the country a week ago.

Her family was finally allowed to see her body late Tuesday night - more than 15 hours after it was found.

On Tuesday, investigators arrested 32-year-old Bismarch Espinosa Martinez, a security guard from the villa where Stefaniak was staying, classifying the death a murder case.

The identity of the body was not initially confirmed, but her family eventually identified it as that of Stefaniak.

Espinoza Martinez had been staying in the apartment next to Stefaniak's rental, the spokesman said, adding that the suspect is a Nicaraguan national who has been in Costa Rica since June. Stefaniak was in Apartment No. 8.

Investigators say they found a large amount of blood in the room of the Airbnb where Stephaniak was staying.

She also suffered a blow to the head.

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Investigators performed an autopsy Tuesday, and plan to work with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to match fingerprints to formally confirm the body belongs to Stefaniak.

Espinoza declined to elaborate about the attack, citing the open case.

Our deepest sympathies are with the family of the victim of this disgusting crime. Stefaniak reserved an Airbnb about 10 miles (16 kilometres) from the airport in San Jose for her final night in the country.

But on Monday, a body was found in a wooded area near the property where Stefaniak was staying in Escazú, San José.

The Finding Carla Facebook page was created by her family and has been used as a place to share information about her disappearance.

The body was badly decomposed, making it hard to identify.

"I have hope that the body found is not my daughter's", he told reporters before his worst fear was confirmed.

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'Words can not express the devastation within her family and friends.

Stefaniak's friend, Leandro Fernandez, said the security guard told Stefaniak's relatives that he last saw her around 5 a.m. on November 28, as she got into an Uber to go to the airport. Burton left the day before Stefaniak was scheduled to fly out. When she never exited her scheduled flight Wednesday, her family began worrying. "Nothing happens there. That's why she picked Costa Rica, ironically".

Stefaniak had taken the trip with her sister-in-law, however her sister-in-law had to return home a day earlier than expected. On Nov. 23, she posted a photo of her looking at the ocean that said, "Future resident of Costa Rica".

Jaime headed to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on November 28 to pick up the birthday girl and take her out for a celebratory dinner. He said police have given the prosecutors' office a report about their findings but stressed they're still gathering evidence. "Carla is always on the phone". And she was not there.

"It's too much for us", her father, Carlos Stefaniak, told ABC Action News in Tampa from Costa Rica. "Then they changed the story that it was a taxi at 5:30 a.m".

Among the last communications from Stefaniak was a text message she sent saying the power was going out at the rental due to weather issues.

Stefaniak dropped their rental vehicle off at the airport and took an Uber for a tour around San Jose before checking into the Airbnb. But even before she got to the airport, something seemed off - why hadn't she heard from her friend all day?

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