The body of a woman who mysteriously vanished from her holiday Airbnb after sending loved ones an alarming message is believed to have been found.
Costa Rican authorities have said they found what appears to be missing South Florida woman Carla Stefaniak, who was on vacation in the Central American country to celebrate her 36th birthday. A suspect has also been detained.
Ms Stefaniak was staying at an Airbnb in the San Antonio de Escazu neighbourhood when she messaged her sister-in-law April Burton that the power had cut out amid torrential rain on November 27.
“It’s pretty sketchy here,” the last message before her disappearance read.
Walter Espinoza, head of the country’s Judicial Investigation Department, said officials were comparing fingerprints to confirm the identity.
An autopsy revealed that the victim suffered a blunt force wound to the head and lacerations on the neck and arms, he said.
A Facebook page set up by friends of the missing woman said family members went to the morgue in San Jose on Tuesday to identify the body, but were turned away by local authorities.
The body was found covered in plastic bags near an Airbnb apartment that was rented by Ms Stefaniak, who went missing nearly a week ago.
A Gofundme account said she was last heard from around 8pm on November 27 and she didn’t show up for her 1pm flight home the next day.
Police discovered what appeared to be blood in the apartment where Ms Stefaniak stayed, and analysed surveillance video from the apartment complex.
Espinoza said the images in the video did not align with statements made by the building’s security guard, a 32-year-old Nicaraguan who police detained for further questioning.
“The case continues to be under investigation,” Espinoza said.
Officials have sealed off the apartment to protect evidence.