A Riverview family is desperate to find a loved one who vanished during a birthday trip to Costa Rica.
Carla Stefaniak, 36, was supposed to fly home from her trip to Costa Rica on her birthday, Nov. 28, but she never made it.
Stefaniak and her sister-in-law April Antonieta, of Riverview, had flown to Costa Rica to celebrate Stefaniak’s birthday. They visited a lot of places in Costa Rica and had a great time.
Antonieta had to fly home one day earlier than Stefaniak on Nov. 27.
Antonieta told WFLA.com that Stefaniak drove her to the airport and dropped her off. Stefaniak then returned their rental car. An Uber driver picked up Stefaniak and took her to the Airbnb she was staying at.
Antonieta said she and Stefaniak continued to communicate with each other while Antonieta waited for her flight at the airport.
The Uber driver took Stefaniak to her Airbnb and offered to give her a 1-hour tour of San Jose. She accepted and went on the tour about an hour later.
Stefaniak continued to communicate with Antonieta during this time.
Stefaniak returned from the tour and was dropped off at her Airbnb. She communicated with Antonieta and said it was raining really hard and the power had gone out. That was the last time Antonieta heard from her sister-in-law.
Stefaniak was supposed to get on a plane to fly home to Miami at 1 p.m. the next day, Nov. 28.
But, that never happened.
Antonieta said she initially wasn’t worried when she did not hear from Stefaniak that morning, she thought her sister-in-law may have slept in.
But that wasn’t the case.
“She totally went missing, ghosted on her birthday, which is totally unlike her,” said Antonieta adding that Stefaniak’s social media accounts have gone silent, which is very unusual.
Antonieta said she has contacted the Miami FBI, the US Embassy and Senator Marco Rubio’s office about Stefaniak’s disappearance.
Antonieta has also created a flyer that is being shared on social media with the hashtag #FindingCarla. A GoFundMe page has been created to help pay for a trip to Costa Rica to search for Stefaniak .
Antonieta said her husband and a friend flew to Costa Rica this morning to search for Stefaniak.
She did not go.
“I’m scared of what I’m going to find,” she said.
Antonieta said her sister-in-law lived in Tampa for 12 years.
Antonieta and her husband live with Stefaniak’s father in Riverview.