Murder of Carla Stefaniak in Costa Rica Was Sexually Motivated: - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Murder of Carla Stefaniak in Costa Rica Was Sexually Motivated: Police

Posted: Updated:

Authorities say the murder of a Florida woman on her birthday vacation in Costa Rica was sexually motivated. 

Bismark Espinosa Martinez, a guard at the Airbnb where 36-year-old Carla Stefaniak was staying, was detained on Monday in connection with the slaying. Martinez, who is originally from Nicaragua, reportedly lived next door to the apartment Stefaniak was in. 

At a press conference on Wednesday, Walter Espinoza, director general of Costa Rica’s Judicial Investigation Department, said police zeroed in on Martinez after he contradicted himself in statements to authorities.

Authorities added that Martinez’s alleged “motive is sexual.”

Martinez had initially told police he saw Stefaniak get into a taxi around 5 a.m. on Nov. 28 and he helped her put her bags inside, but he eventually changed that story, Espinoza said. 

Stefaniak’s body was found Monday near the Airbnb she’d been staying in with her sister-in-law, April Burton. She was partially nude and covered in plastic bags, police said. 

She had been hit in the head and stabbed multiple times. It was previously reported that she died from a blow to the head but at Wednesday’s press conference, the medical examiner said she died from a stab wound to the neck.

Burton left the day before Stefaniak was scheduled to fly out. Family members grew worried the next day when Stefaniak did not reply to any of the birthday wishes she had received. They then found out she hadn't boarded her flight. 

Stefaniak is remembered as someone who loved to travel. Her family expressed their devastation at her loss in a social media post.

“Words cannot express the devastation within her family and friends,” the Facebook page “Finding Carla” said. “We want the world to know that we will never forget Carla. We will never forget the joy she brought into our lives, how much she made us laugh. We will always be with her and we know she will always be with us. May god bless her soul.”

Airbnb has since taken down the listing where Stefaniak stayed. 

Airbnb lists tips on its website to follow in order to safely book a listing on the site, including looking at the host profiles and reviews of a place. The company encourages users to check for verified phone numbers and connected social media.

The company also added that travelers should research the neighborhood where they will be staying, and inform family and friends of their whereabouts.

RELATED STORIES

How Shan'ann Watts' Best Friend May Have Helped Solve Her Murder: Today on Inside Edition

Family Mourns Woman Murdered During Costa Rica Birthday Trip: 'We Will Never Forget Carla'

Former Dallas Police Officer Charged With Murder in Shooting of Unarmed Black Man

  • Inside EditionMore>>

  • Reddit User Says Taking Too Much Ambien Led Them to Propose to Girlfriend

    Reddit User Says Taking Too Much Ambien Led Them to Propose to Girlfriend

    Thursday, January 17 2019 12:37 PM EST2019-01-17 17:37:59 GMT
    By Inside Edition Staff A Reddit user blamed Ambien for his impromptu proposal to his girlfriend.  In a post on the platform, the anonymous individual documented a bizarre experience they claimed they had after taking four 10 mg pills when they couldn't sleep in the middle of the night. A daily dose of Ambien must not exceed 10 mg, according to prescribing information.  The user wrote they had an engagement ring in their drawer because they buy and sell stuff on Craigslist. And whe... 
    A Reddit user blamed Ambien for his impromptu proposal to his girlfriend.  
  • Alabama Veterinary Student Allegedly Promised to Save Horses and Sold Them to Slaughterhouses Instead: Police

    Alabama Veterinary Student Allegedly Promised to Save Horses and Sold Them to Slaughter Houses Instead: Police

    Thursday, January 17 2019 12:18 PM EST2019-01-17 17:18:23 GMT
    By Inside Edition Staff An Alabama veterinary school student allegedly promised lies to horse owners who wanted better homes for their beloved animals. Fallon Blackwood, 24, was allegedly selling the horses to slaughterhouses instead. Blackwood, who attends Tuskegee University, has been charged on 13 counts of bringing into the state property obtained by false pretense with the intent to defraud. A Georgia horse owner, Lindsay Rosentrater, told AL.com that she entrusted Blackwood ... 
    An Alabama veterinary school student allegedly promised lies to horse owners who wanted better homes for their beloved animals. 
  • Celebrities Share Throwback Photos for the #10YearChallenge

    Celebrities Share Throwback Photos for the #10YearChallenge

    Thursday, January 17 2019 11:37 AM EST2019-01-17 16:37:59 GMT
    By Inside Edition StaffClick here to watch video. What a difference 10 years makes! Celebrities are having fun with the "10 Year Challenge," in which users post side-by-side photos of of themselves that are a decade apart.  Caitlyn Jenner featured pictures of herself before transitioning and after, captioning the split, “Now THAT is a #10YearChallenge Be authentic to yourself." In Reese Witherspoon's case, it's hard to tell which image of her is older. Ten years later, she still l... 
    What a difference 10 years makes! 
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 KFMB-TV. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.