A Florida woman celebrating her 36th birthday in Costa Rica has vanished after texting her family that the Airbnb she was staying in was ‘pretty sketchy’.
Carla Stefaniak traveled to Costa Rica with her sister-in-law April Burton last week and was due to fly home to Hallandale Beach alone Wednesday, the day after she dropped April off at the airport.
Carla checked into her 1pm flight, but never showed up to the airport the next morning, November 28.
Her family and friends say they have not heard from her since Tuesday at 8pm when she texted her sister-in-law from the Airbnb to say it was raining and the power was going out – a scene she described as ‘sketchy’.
Now her family are on the ground in Costa Rica, working with local authorities and questioning any witnesses as they believe Carla has been kidnapped.
Carla Stefaniak went to Costa Rica with her sister-in-law to celebrate birthday and has been missing since November 27
Her sister-in-law April Burton (left, pictured together in Costa Rica) took a flight home the day before Carla (right) and they were last texting around 8pm on November 27
A spokesperson for the family said Carla, who works at a Miami insurance agency, dropped her sister-in-law off at the airport in San Jose on November 27 and returned the rental car.
She then took an Uber to an Airbnb about 30 minutes from the airport. It was the same Uber that drove Carla sightseeing and shopping for the afternoon.
According to family spokesperson Katie Gardner, Carla texted her brother’s wife updates and photos throughout the afternoon until she got back to the Airbnb.
‘Last time we heard from her was 11/27 around 8pm when she said it was raining crazy and power went out,’ April said in an Instagram post in a desperate plea to find her sister-in-law.
‘She continued with ”It’s pretty sketchy here,”’ April said.
April then said she texted Carla to wish her a happy birthday at midnight but received no response.
The next day, April got a call from Carla’s friends saying they had wished her a happy birthday but also got no response.
That’s when they discovered Carla had never boarded her flight back home.
Carla was last seen online around 9pm the night before her flight, she is pictured (left) at the airport heading to Costa Rica and (right) enjoying her vacation days before her disappearance
Carla never showed up to her 1pm flight the next day, November 28
The Stefaniak family thinks Carla was kidnapped and has traveled to Costa Rica to search for her. Pictures is Carla with her mother and two brothers
Carla’s brother and April’s husband Mario Caicedo has flown to Costa Rica where he’s been working with law enforcement agency Organismo de Investigation Judicial to find his sister.
‘She never got back online to check all these birthday wishes,’ he said. ‘This is one more thing telling us that she was abducted.’
The Stefaniak family say they have spoken to the Uber driver, Airbnb host and security guards who all say they saw Carla leaving the Airbnb with her luggage around 5am and getting into an unknown car.
‘The Uber driver arrived around 8am to pick up Stefaniak but could not find her,’ Gardner said. ‘However, her family says the story does not make sense since her flight was not until that afternoon and the airport was only 30 minutes away. And since she had already used that Uber driver the day before, why would she have called a different Uber?’
According to NBC News, Carla had a FaceTime call with a friend and mentioned that she may ask a security guard at the Airbnb to buy her water because of the storm.
She was last seen online on WhatsApp at 8.20pm before her phone died at 9pm. She has not been online or posted since.
Carla immigrated to Tampa from Venezuela in 2000 and moved to Miami in 2012.
An Uber driver, Airbnb host and guards all say she was last seen getting into an unknown car with her luggage at 5am the morning of the flight