Security guard detained in murder of Florida woman at Costa Rican property

A 32-year-old security guard is reportedly being detained Wednesday in connection with the mysterious murder of a Florida woman, whose body was discovered at the Costa Rican complex where the man worked.

Bismark Espinoza Martinez, 32, was taken into custody Monday night at about 11 p.m., WFTS-TV reported, citing Costa Rica’s Judicial Investigation Agency. Martinez was detained after officials said they determined he had time to commit the crime and had made statements that didn’t line up with video surveillance in the area.

“He presented many contradictions. As of that moment, he became a suspect,” Judicial Investigator Director Walter Espinoza said

Martinez had been in Costa Rica since June 2018 after arriving from Nicaragua, the Miami Herald reported.

The body of Carla Stefaniak, who journeyed to Costa Rica last week to celebrate her 36th birthday with her sister-in-law, was discovered half-buried and covered in plastic bags on the property of the Costa Rican Airbnb she had been staying at, Espinoza said.

OIJ officials said blood was discovered inside the complex, too.

“In her apartment, we found blood. Three hundred meters away we found her body,” Espinoza said.

Stefaniak’s sister-in-law left Costa Rica on Nov. 27 and Stefaniak was due to depart the next day — but she never made her flight. Her family last heard from her the night of Nov. 27.

Nicole Darrah contributed to this report.


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