TAMPA, Florida— The family of Carla Stefaniak, the Florida woman who disappeared and was then found murdered while on vacation in Costa Rica, returned to Tampa over the weekend.

Carla’s brothers, Mario and Carlos Caicedo accompanied Carla’s cremated remains on the flight home from Costa Rica.

“We haven’t had any sleep, but we brought Carla home, and that’s all we really wanted,” said close friend Gregory Zwolinski, who was on the plane home with Carla’s two brothers.

Carla’s father Carlos was also supposed to be on the flight home but was diverted to Venezuela where his mother is gravely ill.

“She’s in a delicate situation,” said grandson Mario Caicedo. “She was diagnosed with cancer. She’s 89. No one really knows how much longer she is going to be with us.”

Family members will start the planning stages for what they said they hope will be a celebration of life, instead of a funeral

“That’s not how she would want us to honor her,” said Caicedo. “So we’re going to do something her style, definitely. We’re going to celebrate her life.”

Family members said not all the information on her death has been released to the public but they feel confident the person or persons responsible for it will be held accountable.

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