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Riverview man flies to Costa Rica to search for missing tourist sister

Authorities in Costa Rica investigating
Posted: 6:44 PM, Nov 30, 2018
Updated: 2018-11-30 23:49:40Z

RIVERVIEW, Fla. — The brother of a missing tourist has flown to Costa Rica to search for her. 

ORIGINAL STORY:  Tampa family desperate for answers after woman goes missing during trip to Costa Rica

 ABC Action News was the only station with Carlos Caicedo, the woman's brother, as he flew out of Tampa this morning. Also, Senator Marco Rubio's office tells us they've reached out to both the embassy and the state department. But tonight, Caicedo isn't waiting on any of them to come up with answers.

It was supposed to be a birthday trip full of memories, sunshine and adventure. But then Carla Stefaniak just vanished.

"It just doesn't make sense, she wouldn't do that," said April Burton her sister-in-law.
 
Stefaniak's flight back to Florida was scheduled one day after her Burton's but she never showed up.

"You want to try to stay positive but there's no explanation for why she wouldn't reach out to someone," said Burton.

Today the Organismo de Investigación Judicial, or OIJ, in Costa Rica confirm they're investigating. They are circulating flyers with her picture requesting leads.

"As soon as I got to Costa Rica I broke down because I couldn't believe that I was here but now I feel very confident," said Carlos Caicedo speaking from an airport in the Central American country.

Caicedo is refusing to sit without answers. He's retracing her steps. He last heard from Stefaniak on Tuesday after she took an Uber to her San Jose Airbnb and snapped a picture of her room.

Costa Rican authorities say someone saw her leave the next day early in the morning, many hours before her flight. Tonight, her family is imagining the worst.

"Of course dead — that's, of course, the worst. Second worst would be human trafficking. She's already somewhere in Honduras, Nicaragua," said Caicedo.
 
The state department says they're aware of the case. A spokesperson tells ABC Action News:

"The U.S. Department of State and our embassies and consulates abroad have no greater responsibility than the protection of U.S. citizens overseas.  When a U.S. citizen is missing, we work closely with local authorities as they carry out their search efforts.  Due to privacy considerations, we have no further comment."

Meanwhile, Caicedo says he'll stay as long as it takes.

"We have to keep going, there's no going back for any reason," said Caicedo.

ABC Action News reached out to Uber and Airbnb about this case. Uber got back to us and told us they're looking into it.