Body found in Costa Rica in search for missing Florida woman

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Tuesday, December 4, 2018
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Body found near spot where US tourist was last seen in Costa Rica

TAMPA, Florida -- Authorities in Costa Rica have located a body in their search for an American woman who went missing while on vacation.

A spokesperson for Costa Rica's Judicial Investigation Department confirmed to ABC News that remains were found.

The body was found in a wooded area Monday as investigators combed through the area where 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. The remains belong to a woman, but they have not yet been positively identified, Espinoza said.

Stefaniak traveled to Costa Rica to celebrate her 36th birthday. She left for Costa Rica on Thanksgiving Day but had not been heard from since Tuesday, her brother, Carlos Caicedo, told ABC News.

Stefaniak's sister-in-law, April Burton, flew with her, but Burton flew back one day early. Stefaniak and Burton are like "best friends," Caicedo said, adding that his sister talks to his wife more than she talks to him. The pair had planned to stay in beach towns around the island, Caicdeo said, and they posted photos and video to social media, documenting their trip.