Law enforcement officials in Costa Rica arrested a security guard Tuesday in connection to the murder of a Miami woman whose body was found outside the Airbnb she rented out.
Bismark Espinosa Martinez, 32, is currently the sole suspect in the killing of Carla Stefaniak, 36, who was not seen or heard from since last Tuesday.
Director of the country’s Judicial Investigation Department, Walter Espinoza, said the cause of death is head trauma.
The director added that the suspect, who was staying in the vacation rental room next to Stefaniak, gave contradictory statements during questioning.
On Monday, officials discovered her body in the back of the San Jose rental property, which Stefaniak described in a text message to her sister-in-law as being ‘pretty sketchy’ last Tuesday night.
Authorities also said in a new statement Tuesday they found blood inside the Airbnb during investigation.
Espinoz said in a statement his team found ‘biological fluids… that are compatible with blood’ at the apartment located in the San Antonio de Escazu neighborhood.
Scroll down for video
Police in Costa Rica arrested security guard Bismark Espinosa Martinez, 32, in connection to the death of Carla Stefaniak, 36, (pictured) who vanished from her Airbnb last Tuesday
Her remains had been partially buried and covered with plastic bags, reported NBC6.
According to the Spanish-language news site crhoy.com, specially trained K9 dogs participating in the search for Stefaniak led police to the body at around noon local time.
Stefaniak traveled to Costa Rica with her sister-in-law April Burton last week to celebrate her 36th birthday and was due to fly home to Hallandale Beach alone Wednesday, the day after she dropped April off at the airport.
Carla checked into her 1pm flight, but never showed up to the airport the next morning, November 28.
Her family and friends say they had not heard from her since Tuesday at 8pm when she texted her sister-in-law from the Airbnb to say it was raining and the power was going out – a scene she described as ‘sketchy’.
Her family have been on the ground in Costa Rica, working with local authorities and questioning witnesses.
A spokesperson for the family said Carla, who works at a Miami insurance agency, dropped her sister-in-law off at the airport in San Jose on November 27 and returned the rental car.
Her sister-in-law April Burton (left, pictured together in Costa Rica) took a flight home the day before Carla (right) and they were last texting around 8pm on November 27
Carla was last seen online around 9pm the night before her flight, she is pictured (left) at the airport heading to Costa Rica and (right) enjoying her vacation days before her disappearance
She then took an Uber to an Airbnb about 30 minutes from the airport. It was the same Uber that drove Carla sightseeing and shopping for the afternoon.
According to family spokesperson Katie Gardner, Carla texted her brother’s wife updates and photos throughout the afternoon until she got back to the Airbnb.
‘Last time we heard from her was 11/27 around 8pm when she said it was raining crazy and power went out,’ April said in an Instagram post in a desperate plea to find her sister-in-law.
‘She continued with ”It’s pretty sketchy here,”’ April said.
April then said she texted Carla to wish her a happy birthday at midnight but received no response.
The next day, April got a call from Carla’s friends saying they had wished her a happy birthday but also got no response.
That’s when they discovered Carla had never boarded her flight back home.
The Stefaniak family is pictured – Carla with her mother and two brothers
Carla’s brother and April’s husband Mario Caicedo flew to Costa Rica where he’s been working with law enforcement agency Organismo de Investigation Judicial.
‘She never got back online to check all these birthday wishes,’ he said. ‘This is one more thing telling us that she was abducted.’
The Stefaniak family said they spoke to the Uber driver, Airbnb host and security guards who all say they saw Carla leaving the Airbnb with her luggage around 5am and getting into an unknown car.
‘The Uber driver arrived around 8am to pick up Stefaniak but could not find her,’ Gardner said. ‘However, her family says the story does not make sense since her flight was not until that afternoon and the airport was only 30 minutes away.’
According to NBC News, Carla had a FaceTime call with a friend and mentioned that she might ask a security guard at the Airbnb to buy her water because of the storm.
She was last seen online on WhatsApp at 8.20pm before her phone died at 9pm. She has not been online or posted since.
Carla moved to Tampa from Venezuela in 2000 and then settled in Miami in 2012.
Stefaniak never showed up to her 1pm flight on November 28