A security guard of the hotel Le Mas de Provence, in San Antonio de Escazú, San José, has been arrested as suspect in the murder of Carla Stefaniak, 36, whose body was found in a steep wooded area near the hotel Monday and confirmed Tuesday afternoon by the Organismo de Investigación Judicial (OIJ).
The OIJ confirmed today, Tuesday, the man identified by his names Espinoza Martinez, was arrested Monday night at 11:00 pm following a search of his apartment.
Wálter Espinoza, director of the OIJ, explained that the testimony the man offered to investigators did not coincide with the facts observed in several videos that were analyzed, at which time he became a suspect.
The guard had told police that Carla Stefaniak had left the property at 5:00 am Wednesday (Nov. 28) and that he had helped her with the bags.
“We managed to verify that the version that was being provided by one of the security guards of the place where the young woman had stayed was incompatible and incoherent with reality and presented many contradictions.
“Because of that circumstance, we searched his home, which is on the same property where Carla Stefaniak stayed. He lived in apartment number seven and she was in number eight,” said Espinoza.
The OIJ chief explained that the suspect is 32 years old, is Nicaraguan, arriving in Costa Rica in June of this year and was in the country in “irregular migratory status”, that is to say, ‘illegal’.
Suspect ordered to preventive detention (remand)
At 1:00 am Tuesday, the San Jose prosecutor’s office (Fiscalía) confirmed the suspect is being held preventive detention (remand), the court accepting the Fiscalia’s request of three months while the investigation continues.
#FiscalíaCR consigue tres meses de prisión preventiva contra el sospechoso del homicidio de una turista venezolana. Investigación continúa.
— MinisterioPúblico CR (@FiscaliaCR) December 4, 2018
The Fiscalía said the suspect took advantage of the access he had to enter the victim’s room.
“It is presumed that, with a sharp weapon and wire, the accused ended the life of the foreigner tourist and then half-buried the body,” said the Ministerio Publico in a press release.