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Family Identifies Body Found in Costa Rica as Missing US Woman

The body of Carla Stefaniak, a U.S citizen reported missing while on vacation in Costa Rica, has been found, her family confirmed. The authorities announced a suspect is in custody in the case.

Almost a week had passed since Stefaniak’s relatives and friends in Florida started an international search after she failed to return from her birthday celebration in Costa Rica.
According to CNN, a partially decomposed body was found Monday, about 300 yards from the apartment complex where Stefaniak was staying in a province just outside the country’s capital of San Jose, said Walter Espinoza, a spokesman with the nation’s Judicial Investigation Department.

A Facebook group titled “Finding Carla” announced the news, saying Stefaniak’s father, Carlos Caceido, identified the body late Tuesday night.

According to Facebook, the post reads, “Words cannot express the devastation within her family and friends. 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.”

Walter Espinoza, head of the country’s Judicial Investigation Department, said 32-year-old, Bismark Martinez, a security guard for the property, has been arrested in the killing. Bismarck, who was in the room next to where Stefaniak was staying, gave contradictory statements to police when he was questioned.

Earlier Tuesday, Espinoza said they found what appears to be blood in the Airbnb apartment that Stefaniak was renting, and that prompted a search that led them to the body discovered outside.

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