Miya Marcano: Medical examiner confirms body is missing woman – everything we know about her disappearance

‘We want to stress that we believe that her disappearance and consequential death was 100 per cent preventable,’ family says

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
,Sheila Flynn,Justin Vallejo
Tuesday 05 October 2021 19:49

Related video: Apartment complex near where Miya Marcano disappeared makes changes to security

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The Orange County Medical Examiner has confirmed that the body found in a forested area close to Tymber Skan on the Lake Condominiums in Orlando, Florida on Saturday was Miya Marcano, 19, as announced by police this weekend.

“A positive identification of a female whose body was recovered in a wooded area on October 2, 2021 has been identified as Miya Marcano,” the Chief Medical Examiner for Orange and Osceola Counties, Dr Joshua Stephany, said in a statement on Tuesday.

“This case is currently under active law enforcement investigation and any further requests for information, including cause and manner of death, will be deferred to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office,” he added.

Relatives of Ms Marcano, including those who had flown in following her disappearance, were meeting on Sunday night to grieve and speak with their lawyer, family attorney Daryl K Washington told The Independent.

Mr Washington said a “tentative” vigil was planned after days of prayer gatherings outside of the 19-year-old’s apartment but added that the family was “devastated”.

“Just saying devastation, that would be an understatement,” he said. “This family is the best of the best.”

Through Mr Washington, they released a statement on Saturday, just hours after Ms Marcano’s body was found in a wooded area about 20 minutes from her apartment. At the time, she had not been formally identified but authorities said on Saturday that they believed the body to be hers. The medical examiner made the official confirmation on Tuesday.

The family press release said they believe that “more safeguards should have been in place” to prevent the “unauthorised entry into Miya’s apartment which led to her disappearance”.

“We want to stress that we believe that her disappearance and consequential death was 100 per cent preventable and we intend to hold those responsible accountable to the full extent of the law,” the statement continued.

On Sunday, Mr Washington told The Independent the family was “concerned about other parents”.

“They don’t want another family to have to deal with what they had to deal with for the past seven to eight days ... This young man should have never had access to Miya’s apartment. They want to make sure, going forward, that apartment complexes that are housing young ladies – especially college students – that they go out and they spend the money and they do the extensive background checks to make sure that there’s not a predator,” he said.

Ms Marcano, who studied at Valencia College in Orlando after moving to the city from Pembroke Pines, north of Miami, had been missing since 24 September. The body was discovered in a wooded area near the “Tymber Skan on the Lake” Condominiums in Orlando at around 10.45am on Saturday.

Armando Caballero, 27, was identified as the main suspect in her disappearance. He was found dead on Monday in what appeared to be a suicide.

Caballero was a maintenance worker at the Arden Villa apartments where Ms Marcano both lived and worked in the leasing office.

Before his death, law enforcement had obtained a warrant for his arrest.

Police used his cell phone records to track his movements on the day that Ms Marcano went missing.

“That data put him all over – Orange County, Seminole County, Volusia County,” Orange County John Mina said. “Again, the reason we were so intense and focused on the New Smyrna Beach area was because he spent the longest amount of time there. He was there for an hour in a marshy wooded area.

Caballero was “trying to throw authorities off the trail”, Sheriff Mina said, but said the 60 detectives who have worked on the case will be able to “piece together pretty good what happened”.

Caballero had previously lived at the Tymber Skan apartments, police said.

Ms Marcano was reported missing on 24 September after she missed a flight to Fort Lauderdale to visit family and stopped replying to texts and calls from relatives and friends.

Police said a centralised access key fob belonging to the maintenance team was used to enter Ms Marcano’s home before her disappearance.

Caballero would have had access to the key fob, police said. His body was found at the Camden Club Apartments in an Orlando suburb.

Phone records showed that Caballero had been close to the Tymber Skan apartments between 8pm and 9pm on the day that Ms Marcano disappeared.

Authorities said that Caballero had shown a romantic interest in Ms Marcano, but that he had been rejected.

“We are not looking for any other people. We believe, pretty conclusively, that Armando Caballero is responsible for this crime and there’s not any other person or persons that we are looking for in this case,” Sheriff Mina said.

“This is not the update I wanted to give everyone. Our hearts are broken,” he added.

Sheriff Mina said that a purse was found alongside the body that held the student’s ID and other belongings.

Mr Washington told The Independent on Sunday that no funeral plans had yet been made while they were awaiting the release of the body.

Before Caballero was the prime suspect in the murder of Ms Marcano, he was accused of smashing the bedroom window of another woman who had turned down his romantic advances.

About six months earlier, a 23-year-old woman reported Caballero to police after a bedroom window was smashed shortly before midnight on 17 March, according to WESH2.

In body camera footage following the attack, a Seminole County Sheriff’s deputy can be heard saying: “We have a broken window. There’s a weight that was thrown into the window. She doesn’t know who.”

The unidentified woman later said she suspected the maintenance worker of her apartment complex, “Armando”, after she turned down his romantic advances, according to the incident report obtained by WESH2.

The woman initially agreed to go out on the date but changed her mind after he requested to move up the date, according to Click Orlando.

The Sheriff’s Office confirmed to the outlet that the woman identified Caballero. She provided the Sheriff’s Office with a note he had written to ask her out.

While Caballero’s fingerprints were identified on the note to the woman, WSH2 News reported that no fingerprints were found on the black, five-pound gym weight thrown through her window at the Sabal Club apartments, the same complex where Caballero lived and was found dead.

The woman reportedly told authorities she believed “Armando” was responsible for the attack because he felt rejected, but the case was closed with no charges due to the lack of evidence connecting Caballero to the crime.

Caballero was employed as a maintenance worker at the Arden Villas Apartments since at least June, where he is reported to have become “obsessed” with Ms Marcano.

Ms Marcano, both a tenant and office worker at the apartment complex, repeatedly rejected Caballero’s romantic advances before she went missing on 24 September.