South Florida woman killed in Costa Rica remembered as kind, selfless

Carla Stefaniak

Her family last heard from her the night of November 27.

"I'm really sorry for her family and it's just a really sad thing", Rivelli said.

Authorities believe it was Stefaniak but have not officially identified the remains, they have said.

Police in Costa Rica suspect a security guard had a sexual motive for killing a Hallandale Beach woman who was celebrating her birthday overseas.

A posting on the "Finding Carla " Facebook page says Costa Rican authorities allowed the family to view her body, which was found Monday half-buried and covered in plastic near the AirBnB villa that Carla Stefaniak of Miami Beach had rented last month.

"Carla's father confirmed that the body belongs to Carla".

On the Facebook page "Finding Carla", which has posted updates on the case, Stefaniak was described as "selfless, funny, charismatic, an fantastic friend, an avid animal lover and a fighter". We want the world to know that we will never forget Carla. Stefaniak, who stayed behind to enjoy an extra night, was scheduled to fly home the following day but never made her flight, authorities said. "We are not", her family wrote on Facebook. "May god bless her soul", the post said.

Stefaniak's father Carlos (above with family friend Greg Zwolinsky) confirmed late Tuesday that the body was that of his daughter.

Authorities also had found stains inside the apartment where Stefaniak was staying, "which are compatible with blood and which will be submitted to further investigation and comparison", he said.

Airbnb said it has removed the vacation rental listing where Stefaniak stayed. Pictured above is the AirBnb rental where she was staying.

Costa Rica's Judicial Investigation Agency (OIJ) said an autopsy performed on her body showed that she had stab wounds around the neck and extremities and blunt-force trauma to the head.

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The complex where Stefaniak had been stayed is temporarily closed, a lawyer for the site told CNN affiliate WFTS.

A 32-year-old security guard is reportedly being detained Wednesday in connection with the mysterious murder of a Florida woman, whose body was discovered at the Costa Rican complex where the man worked.

The Facebook page, set up to search for the missing tourist who was believed to have been kidnapped, also revealed it would not stop posting and following up on the story, which has garnered global attention. Police said he gave contradictory statements during questioning.

"That's when we knew that something's not right", she said. "Stefaniak then took an Uber to an Airbnb about 30 minutes from the airport".

"The person linked to this homicide was close to her and had the time and place to commit the crime", said Judicial Investigator Director Walter Espinoza.

Almost a week had passed since Stefaniak's relatives and friends in Florida embarked on an global search after she failed to return from her birthday celebration in Costa Rica.

Relatives became concerned last week after Stefaniak stopped texting and phoning home and was not on her return flight from Costa Rica.

An Uber driver who took Stefaniak sightseeing on the Tuesday and who was supposed to pick her up to go to the airport told the family he heard she left the rental home around 5am with her luggage and got into a mysterious auto, according to the Miami Herald.

Authorities in Costa Rica say the Federal Bureau of Investigation assisted in confirming her identity through finger print data around 8 p.m. Tuesday. She said she planned to ask one of the Airbnb security guards for water.

Stefaniak reportedly checked into the flight but never boarded.

Stefaniak, who was an insurance agent, loved to travel and post photos on Instagram.

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