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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Relatives are searching for Hallandale Beach Resident Carla Stefaniak, who disappeared in Costa Rica.
CBS 4 was given several cell phone clips from the trip she took with her sister-in-law, April Burton. In all of them, Stefaniak was smiling and cheerful while on vacation for her birthday.
However, she never boarded her Wednesday afternoon flight to return home to South Florida.
Burton spoke to CBS 4 from Tampa.
“Hopefully, we will get a tip that someone saw something; anything,” Burton said.
Burton left a day ahead of Stefaniak’s scheduled departure for a prior commitment.
Burton told us her sister-in-law then went shopping and exploring the area in an Uber.
The last time she heard from Stefaniak was 8 p.m. that night. In a news release, from a public relations agency, Relatives stated her last text messages were about the power going in and out.
“We just want to know where she is. We just want to find out where she was,” Burton said.
Stefaniak’s brother is now on the ground in Costa Rica searching for his sister.
“My husband, her brother is there. He said he’s not coming back until he finds her,” Burton said.
Relatives have spoken to the owners of an Airbnb, an Uber driver, and security guards. They all told relatives Stefaniak left early Wednesday morning around 5 a.m. and got inside an unknown car.
“She was just such a happy go lucky person. I’m just afraid she was just too trusting with someone there,” Burton said.
Since it has been more than 48 hours, Burton is finding it tougher making it through each day.
“Sometimes I’m more upset than others. Sometimes I can control it. I’m trying to focus on the positives,” Burton said.
Relatives have started a GoFundMe account to support relatives who are in Costa Rica searching for Stefaniak.
Family members are also calling on lawmakers to assist in the search efforts by talking to leaders in Costa Rica.