News at noon: Florida woman still missing in Costa Rica as grim details arise; Hurricane Michael destroyed their home, so they got married on the slab; and more

Here are the top five latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com.
Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and developments.
Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and developments.
Published December 4
Updated December 4

Here are the top five latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com.

FLORIDA WOMAN STILL MISSING IN COSTA RICA AS GRIM DETAILS ARISE

The family and friends of a Florida woman who went missing in Costa Rica last week are clinging to fading glimmers of hope this morning as harrowing new information has emerged and a body has been found on the property she was renting. Authorities have not confirmed the identity of the half-buried body, but said it was a woman’s. Relatives of Carla Stefaniak were en route to the morgue early today. The Costa Rica Judiciary Police said they found blood in Stefaniak’s room and a security guard at the Villa le Mas in Escazú, San José is in custody as authorities investigate. Stefaniak’s last known whereabouts were the Villa le Mas where she was renting an AirBnB.

HURRICANE MICHAEL DESTROYED THEIR HOME, SO THEY GOT MARRIED ON THE SLAB

The inevitable rolled over Brittany suddenly, when she saw Ben sitting on the ground of her home, playing with her 3-year-old daughter. Skyla was struggling with something — mom doesn’t remember exactly what, though it hardly matters now. “You can do anything,” Ben Parham told the little girl. “You just have to try.” “Awww,” Brittany Medina remembers thinking. “I think he just won me over.” That was about nine months before the proposal. Ten months before Hurricane Michael. A year until their wedding day, in a shattered square of wood and stone that was once their neighborhood, on the slab that was once their house, blocks from the waters of Mexico Beach.

'QANON'-WEARING BROWARD SHERIFF'S SERGEANT HAS BEEN DISCIPLINED

The Broward Sheriff's Office SWAT sergeant who wore a "QAnon" conspiracy patch on his official uniform when he posed in a photo with Vice President Mike Pence at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport last week received a written reprimand and will be reassigned, the department announced. Sgt. Matthew Patten, a 27-year veteran of the sheriff's office, was found to have violated the department's uniform code and displayed "conduct unbecoming an employee," according to the official reprimand signed by Patten. He was removed from BSO's Strategic Investigations Division's Office of Homeland Security and the agency's S.W.A.T. Team and will be reassigned to the Department of Law Enforcement.

FORMER GATORS COACH URBAN MEYER RETIRING AT OHIO STATE

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer is retiring after his Buckeyes play Washington in the Jan. 1 Rose Bowl. Buckeyes assistant Ryan Day —who was the interim coach during Meyer's three-game suspension at the start of the season — will take over the program. Meyer will explain his decision at a 2 p.m. news conference. His retirement will mark the end of one of the most successful coaching careers of this generation. Meyer, 54, has won three national titles — two at Florida and one at Ohio State. His .853 winning percentage trails only Notre Dame legends Knute Rockne and Frank Leahy in college football history among coaches with at least 10 years of experience.

HERNANDO RETIREE WHO SAVED 'CAGNEY & LACEY' IS SUBJECT OF NEW DOCUMENTARY

If you enjoyed seasons two through seven of the 1980s police procedural Cagney & Lacey, you can thank a retired grandmother living in Hernando County. National headlines called Dorothy Swanson “the housewife networks can’t ignore.” That narrative, however, that a supposedly soft-spoken Midwestern woman had assumed power in the television industry proved irresistible to journalists who covered TV in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s.The life and death of her organization, Viewers for Quality Television, and other stories of television superfans wielding collective power to save shows from cancellation, is the subject of the new documentary, United We Fan.

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