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Security guard arrested in presumed death of woman in Costa Rica

By
Allen Cone
A body was found on an Airbnb property in Costa Rica, presumed to be Carla Stefaniak, 36, of South Florida, who was staying on the property and was last seen a week ago. Photo courtesy of Finding Carla/Facebook
A body was found on an Airbnb property in Costa Rica, presumed to be Carla Stefaniak, 36, of South Florida, who was staying on the property and was last seen a week ago. Photo courtesy of Finding Carla/Facebook

Dec. 5 (UPI) -- A security guard at an Airbnb complex in Costa Rica has been arrested after a body was found on the property where a Florida woman vanished one week ago.

Bismarck Espinosa Martinez, 32, was arrested at around 11 p.m. Monday, several hours after a body was found near where Carla Stefaniak, 36, of South Florida, was staying. Stefaniak missed her flight home Nov. 28, one day after she was last seen in a villa in San Antonio de Escazu outside the capital of San Jose.

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The suspect is a Nicaraguan immigrant who entered Costa Rica in June, Walter Espinoza, director general of the nation's Judicial Investigation Agency said in a statement Tuesday. The posting on Facebook included an image of the suspect in custody.

According to investigators, Martinez "demonstrated a lot of inconsistency" and his informtion does not security video.

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Martinez was staying in Apartment 7 and Stefaniak was in Apartment 8, where blood was found, Espinoza said.

The body was found partly buried in plastic bags in the back of the property, roughly 1,000 feet from where Stefaniak had been staying, officials said to WFTS-TV.

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The remains contained stab wounds in the neck and other areas, as well as injuries consistent with having been hit in the head, Espinoza said. A positive identification has not been made.

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Mario Caicedo, a brother of Stefaniak, Mario Caicedo, is in Costa Rica. He told NBC News dental records as well as fingerprints are being checked before the family can enter the morgue to view the body.

Since 2013, Villa Le Mas has "received over as 1,000 guests with wonderful reviews about the property and our service," Federico Jenkins, attorney for the complex, said in a statement. "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."

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