Body found during search for U.S. tourist missing in Costa Rica

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"The family has not confirmed the identity by viewing or providing DNA samples". "The wait is so painful". We will always be with her and we know she will always be with us.

According to Costa Rica's El Organismo de Investigación Judicial (or Judicial Investigation Department) search dogs found the partially decomposed body of a woman on Monday - almost a week after Stefaniak's family reported her missing on November 28.

On Monday, officials revealed a body was found buried in a wooded area less than 200-feet behind Carla Stefaniak's Airbnb.

In Spanish, Walter Espinoza, the Director General of the OIJ said, "the body was in a state of decomposition but the preliminary observation does verify the body is a woman".

According to BBC, Espinoza confirmed that the cause of death was head trauma. Investigators say blood was found in his nearby apartment.

The attorney for the property says the owners are cooperating with the investigation and hope when all the facts are known, the perpetrator will be brought to justice. Our deepest sympathies are with the family of the victim of this awful crime.

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Ms Stefaniak's loved ones went to Costa Rica to look for her. "That's kind of where we are right now".

Burton told CNN the two were in Costa Rica to celebrate Stefaniak's birthday, and had traveled together for six days. Burton returned to Tampa last Tuesday, but Stefaniak was scheduled to head back the following day. Family members say they last heard from Stefaniak one week ago, on the eve of her 36th birthday.

Authorities in Costa Rica, he is from Nicaragua and worked as a security guard at the vacation rental property where Stefaniak was staying.

They have opened a missing person case and they are trying to work with local authorities. In what is believed to be the last conversation she had, she told a friend the property was too secluded to leave in the dark, but she was thirsty and was going to the guard shack to ask for water. "There's no reason for her not to contact anyone".

The Tampa Bay Times reported that Stefaniak's last message to her family said: "It's pretty sketchy here", and that the power was out and it was pouring rain. There, she Facetimed a friend from NY, telling him she was thirsty and was going to find a drink. The family got concerned when she didn't arrive in Florida Wednesday afternoon and could not reach her on her cellular phone.

Authorities are waiting for autopsy results, which could be released Tuesday. "Nothing happens there. That's why she picked Costa Rica, ironically". Carlos Caicedo, Carla's father, had his blood drawn Tuesday to help determine whether the body belonged to his daughter. Costa Rican officials told ABC Action News that the body, which also appeared to have stab wounds, was still awaiting forensic identification, a process in which the Federal Bureau of Investigation would assist.

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