Nets Omit Illegal Status of Suspect in Murder of American Tourist

As the broadcast networks this week gave attention to the story of an American tourist from Florida, Carla Stefaniak, who went missing during a trip to Costa Rica and then was found murdered there, all three failed to inform viewers that the murder suspect, a Nicaraguan national, was an illegal immigrant. By contrast, Fox and Friends did take the time to note that he was in the country illegally.

ABC gave the story the most attention as Good Morning America and World News Tonight each covered it on four separate days between Sunday and Thursday.  CBS This Morning covered it each day between Monday and Wednesday, and the NBC Nightly News spent time on it each day between Sunday and Tuesday.

The last time NBC mentioned it on Wednesday, NBC host Lester Holt read a brief informing viewers that a security guard had been arrested, and then dropped the story for the rest of the week, while CBS This Morning on Wednesday similarly reported that the guard had been arrested, and identified him as Bismarck Martinez.

On the same day's Good Morning America, the show teased that they would make revelations about the security guard's "past," but when ABC News correspondent Eva Pilgrim got to the story, she informed viewers that he had been in Costa Rica for six months and was "originally from Nicaragua," but did not mention his illegal status.

GMA ran one more followup on Thursday, but did not give any new information on the suspect. By contrast, on the same day's Fox and Friends, fill-in news reader Carley Shimkus noted that the suspect "has been living in Costa Rica illegally."

Because there has been a significant amount of news from the past several weeks about the caravan of illegal migrants from Central America who have been trying to force their way across the U.S. border, the fact that Costa Rica also has trouble with illegal immigrants from their Central American neighbors would be a worthwhile piece of information to include in the reports.

NB Daily Crime Latin America Immigration ABC Good Morning America CBS CBS This Morning NBC NBC Nightly News Fox News Channel Fox & Friends Eva Pilgrim

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