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Riverview family searching for loved one lost in Costa Rica

Authorities are searching for Carla Stefaniak, 36, who went missing in Costa Rica on Nov. 27, 2018. [GoFundMe]
Authorities are searching for Carla Stefaniak, 36, who went missing in Costa Rica on Nov. 27, 2018. [GoFundMe]
Published Nov. 30, 2018

A Riverview family is desperately searching for a loved one after she went missing on vacation.

Carla Stefaniak, 36, disappeared in Costa Rica. The last time her family talked with her was Tuesday and it's been silence since then.

Stefaniak was supposed to return home Wednesday on an afternoon flight but never showed up for it, family members said on a GoFundMe page. They also said she has had no online presence since Tuesday at 9 p.m. She was staying at a villa she found on AirBnB.

Stefaniak's sister-in-law, April Antonieta, wrote in a Facebook post that on the day she went missing, Stefaniak had taken an Uber from Thrifty car rental. The driver waited 50 minutes for Stefaniak before taking her on a tour around San Jose. She was back at her villa between 4 and 5 p.m.

The last message family got from her said, "It's pretty sketchy here." She also said in messages that it was pouring rain and that the power was out.

Family members are heading to Costa Rica to search for her. They said they are working with local authorities to locate her and a missing person case has been opened. The U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica and the FBI also have been alerted.

"Words cannot express how shocking and devastating this is to her family and her friends," Antonieta wrote on Facebook.

The U.S. Department of State said the department and embassies do not have a responsibility beyond 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," the department said in a statement.

Contact McKenna Oxenden at moxenden@tampabay.com or (410) 258-2324. Follow @mack_oxenden.

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