Costa Rica's Judicial Investigation Department (OIJ) identified the body as that of 36-year-old Carla Stefaniak, who went missing during her vacation in San Jose on the night of November 27.
Tuesday afternoon, officials announced that the body appears to be Stefaniak, though they were waiting on fingerprint information to confirm.
Meanwhile, Stefaniak's family members say they have still not been allowed to view the body and they were in the process of securing dental records when the announcement was made.
A body found in Costa Rica has been identified as a Florida woman who went missing while she was on vacation, according to her family.
Officials said a separate task force with K9s searched Stefaniak's room and found "biological fluids compatible with blood" that were sent for testing.
Stefaniak's sister-in-law was in Costa Rica celebrating Stefaniak's birthday but returned to Florida the day before. It is the last day family members heard from her. They also found blood in the room she occupied before disappearing.
The body was found in a wooded area as investigators combed through the region, roughly 1,000 feet away from where Miami resident and Tampa native, Carla Stefaniak, spent what was supposed to be her final night in Costa Rica last week, Judicial Investigator Director Walter Espinoza said in a press conference.
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Witnesses supposedly saw Stefaniak leaving the Airbnb around 5 a.m. with her luggage and getting into an unknown auto, according to the Miami Herald. Her sister-in-law, April Burton, accompanied her on the trip but left on November 27 because of a prior commitment.
A man was arrested in Costa Rica Tuesday (Dec 4) over the suspected murder of a United States tourist who has been missing for a week, police said. "I'm going to live a situation that I do not want anyone", said Carla's father.
Authorities in Costa Rica, he is from Nicaragua and worked as a security guard at the vacation rental property where Stefaniak was staying.
Investigators performed an autopsy Tuesday, and plan to work with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to match fingerprints to formally confirm the body belongs to Stefaniak.
Stefaniak's co-workers said she was an excellent employee who could get along with anyone. The body, which has yet to be identified, was partially buried and inside plastic near the city of San Jose, a local official told CBS News. "She is very active on social media, and for her, on the day of her birthday, to never log in to any of those accounts is just insane".
An avid user of social media, Stefaniak stopped all communication the night she checked into the Airbnb.
"At midnight Eastern time, Burton texted Stefaniak to wish her a happy birthday but did not receive a response", Gardner said. Her companion flew home to Tampa a day early to get a better deal on the airfare, Jaime said.