Carlos Caicedo, the father of the missing tourist Carla Stefaniak, arrived in Costa Rica Monday night, with plans to visit the judicial morgue first thing this Tuesday morning to verify if the body found on Monday afternoon in San Antonio de Escazu is, in fact, his daughter.
Carla, visiting Costa Rica since November 22, disappeared between the evening of November 27 and morning of the 28th.
The last time the family heard from Carla was the night of November 22. Guards at the Airbnb hotel she was staying told judicial investigators they saw her leave in a vehicle at 5:00 am Wednesday morning. However, OIJ investigators have not been able to corroborate it.
Carla was in Costa Rica with her sister-in-law to celebrate her 36th birthday. She dropped off her sister-in-law at the airport the day of the 27th, then headed to her room in Escazu, where she would spend the night before leaving in the morning for the mid-day flight on Wednesday.
She contacted her family Tuesday night. The family got concerned when she didn’t arrive in Florida Wednesday afternoon and could not reach her on her cellular phone. Her social media account, with posts of her trips up to Tuesday, had gone silent. No new posts. Nothing.
On Monday, the OIJ, with the aid of cadaver dogs, located the body of a female only 200 meters (yards) from the Escazu hotel. The body was partially buried, an arm sticking out caught the attention of the dogs and police searchers. Decomposition did allow recognition.
A meticulous search of the room she had stayed on her last night Costa Rica revealed traces of blood, despite the room had been cleaned by hotel staff and other guests had used the room since.
Hotel guards told investigators Carla had left early in the morning Wednesday, the night guard having helped her load the bags in the car.
However, the family isn’t buying the story.
For one, the sister-in-law who had traveled with Carla to Costa Rica told the media Carla was not to getting up early in the morning, especially since her flight was not until 1 pm that day.
Investigators are also skeptical given the guard could not say if the vehicle that allegedly picked up Carla was a taxi or private. The Uber driver Carla had requested the evening before did not arrive until 8:30 am.
OIJ investigators were hermetic on Monday and would not confirm (or deny) that the body was that of the missing tourist.
Back to Carlos. On Monday, learning of the find, he told Telemundo 51 he was hopeful to get permission from U.S. immigration to travel to Costa Rica. “I’m going to live a situation that I do not want anyone,” said Carla’s father.
In the video by Telemundo 51 and published on Crhoy.com, Carlos tells the camera, “Carla come back. If immigration gives me permission I’m going to meet you, soon.” The publication did not specify why the Venezuelan, living in the United States, required permission to travel outside the U.S.
Carla’s brother, also names Carlos, is reportedly in Costa Rica looking for answers to his sister’s disappearance.
This story is developing and the Q will bring you the latest information as we learn it.