The investigation into the murder of the Venezuelan/American tourist in Costa Rica, Carla Stefaniak, continues between hermeticism and pending questions on what really happened and are there more people involved that the Airbnb security guard who is in police custody.
On Monday, December 3, the body of the tourist was found in a shallow grave a few hundred meters from the property where she would have spent the night and investigators believe she was killed. The hotel, La Mares, renting out rooms on the Airbnb platform is located in a mountainous area in San Antonio de Escazú.
Carla, an insurance agent based in Miami, Floria, was reported missing by a relative on November 28, the same day she was scheduled to leave Costa Rica. Relatives became concerned when she did arrive after spending a week on a vacation in the country, to celebrate her birthday number 36.
The suspect, 32, was arrested the same day the body was discovered after the Organismo de Investigacion Judicial (OIJ) received a tip and with the aid of cadaver dogs. The man, surnamed Espinoza Martinez, who worked as a security guard and lived at the property raised the suspicion of investigators when his version, that he had seen Carla leave in the morning she was to leave the country, getting into a taxi-like car.
OIJ investigators could not corroborate his version. Following evidence of traces of blood in the villa Carla was staying, a search was made of the villa next to Carla’s, where the suspect lived.
The big question being tackled by investigators and being asked by Carla’s relatives is whether Espinoza acted alone.
According to sources closed to the case, the results of the forensic examinations lead investigators to believe that more people are involved in the murder.
In fact, the doubt extends to that there may be up 3 or 4 possible people involved. Authorities are not revealing much, this conclusion is based on forensic analysis of the body.
Also, investigators are working on a version of a guest who would have heard noises coming from victim’s villa, furniture being moved and cleaning inside the villa. This, allegedly occurring hours after the victim would have been murdered.
When the OIJ entered the villa on December 3, they found it had been cleaned. A lawyer speaking on behalf of the owners of the property said other guests had stayed in the villa after Carla. The reason for the cleaning.
However, using luminol, forensic examiners found traces of blood.
Carla was killed between Tuesday niight, November 27 and Wednesday, November 28. Relatives and friends say the last they heard of Carla was on the night of the 27th. After that her cellular phone and her social media activity went dark.
Investigators say the motive was sexually motivated. Apparently Carla was killed in an attempted sexual assault. As the woman defended herself, she was wounded with a knife, receiving cuts to her upper extremities and beaten.
The death blows came from a metal pipe to head, which caused her to have a stroke.
Everything indicates that Carla repelled the attack. Her arms showed defensive wounds, according to her father Carlos Caicedo during a press conference on December 5.
For his part, Caicedo is not giving up on knowing what exactly happened to his daughter. It is expected that he will returns to Costa Rica in the coming days with the aim of meeting legislators and influential political figures, telling the media that his interest is that the crime does not go unpunished and the government take forceful actions to avoid future similar cases.
Carla’s ashes returned to Florida over the weekend.