Body found near Costa Rica Airbnb where Hallandale Beach woman disappeared

Authorities have not yet identified body

By Tim Swift - Local10.com Digital Editor, Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - A body was found Monday near an Airbnb in Escazu, Costa Rica, where a Broward County woman disappeared from last week, news outlets in Costa Rica reported. 

A spokesman for Costa Rica's Judicial Investigation Department confirmed to ABC News that they have found a body while searching for Carla Stefaniak, but authorities have not yet confirmed that it is her. 

The body was said to have been buried in a mountainous area behind the building where Stefaniak, 36, of Hallandale Beach, was staying. 

According to relatives, Stefaniak was celebrating her birthday in Costa Rica. 

Stefaniak's sister-in-law, April Burton, joined Stefaniak on the trip but planned to leave a day before her.

Stefaniak booked a room using Airbnb for her final night and family members said they last heard from her on Tuesday evening. Stefaniak told them the power had gone out during a rainstorm.

Her family grew concerned after Stefaniak stopped responding to text messages.

"You want to stay positive, but there’s no explanation to why she shouldn't reach out to someone," Burton told "Good Morning America."

Laura Jamie, a friend and former roommate, said Stefaniak was an avid user of social media and rarely goes without posting. Jamie said her phone has not been used since Tuesday, which has led her family and friends to believe she has kidnapped.

"Knowing her, she is very attached to her phone," Jamie said. "And it wasn't like she was in the jungle. She was at an Airbnb."

Airbnb said it is cooperating with local authorities to help find Stefaniak. The U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica and the FBI are also assisting with the case, her family said. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has also offered to help the family.

Carlos Caicedo, Stefaniak's brother, has traveled to Costa Rico to help find his sister.

"I didn't have the chance to tell her that I love her," Caicedo said. "I guess I can say, 'I love you sister and I know we're going to get you very soon.'"

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