A Costa Rican security guard has been sentenced to 16 years behind bars for murdering an American tourist, who had been visiting the country for a birthday trip.
What We Know:
- The killer, Bismarck Espinoza Martínez, was convicted Monday of homicidio simple, or second-degree murder, for the fatal stabbing of 36-year-old Carla Stefaniak, according to The Tico Times.
- Stefaniak, who is a Florida resident, traveled to Villa Buena Vista in Escazu in November 2018 to celebrate her birthday with her sister-in-law April Antonieta. Antonieta had to leave the trip one day before Stefaniak.
- The victim had scheduled a driver to pick her up at 8:30 a.m. to the head to the airport. Unfortunately, she never made it to her flight. Her body was later discovered poorly buried in a wooded area near the Costa Rican resort where she had been residing for the trip.
- The last time she had any communication with her family was in the evening of Nov. 27th, a night before her scheduled flight, when Stefaniak mentioned that she was going to ask a guard for some water. Another noteworthy remark she made was the fact that she also described the lodging to her family as “sketchy”.
- Along with the 16-year prison sentence, Martínez was ordered to pay the family about $53,000 in compensation. Martínez was found not guilty of the more serious charge of homicidio calificado, or first-degree murder.
During the investigation, a medical examiner determined that Stefaniak was stabbed a total of seven times. One noticeable wound was located on her hand, suggesting she may have tried to defend herself in her final moments. Local authorities have since then deemed the attack to have been sexually motivated.