The family of 19-year-old Miya Marcano has released a video of a confrontation with her suspected killer hours after her disappearance.
Armando Caballero, 27, was found dead in an apparent suicide after police had named him as the prime suspect in Ms Marcano’s death.
He was a maintenance worker at the Arden Villas apartment complex in Orlando, Florida where Ms Marcano lived and worked in the leasing office. He reportedly made repeated romantic advances towards Ms Marcano but was rejected.
The video released by the family shows a conversation with Caballero hours after Ms Marcano went missing. It shows the maintenance worker speak to an Orange County police officer as family members ask him questions from out of view of the camera.
When a woman said that “there’s evidence of obsession” from Caballero towards Ms Marcano, he said: “Don’t try to make this like I’m a stalker.”
“You’re fascinated with Miya,” the woman added.
“It’s not only from my side,” Caballero replied.
“As of right now you have sent obsessive texts to Miya. We have all seen the texts. You talked about giving her your life savings. You Cash App-ed her money and you claim that you weren’t in touch,” the family member told Caballero.
“Who told her I gave her life savings?” he responded. “I never said that.”
“We’re gonna get a police report to pull your phone records if that’s the case,” the family member added. “It takes two but obviously she’s missing so we’re talking to you.”
“I understand that. I respect that, that’s y’all’s family,” Caballero said. “But until we figure out what’s going on just don’t beat me up.”
“Nobody’s beating you up. You put yourself in the middle right here,” a man says off-camera.
“If I’m guilty why would I come here?” Caballero said, adding that he was “concerned”.
“Why weren’t you concerned hours ago?” the man asked. Caballero said he had “just found out”.
Ms Marcano was first reported missing on 24 September.
“In the first few hours we didn’t think it was serious,” Caballero said, having earlier mentioned a woman called Tati who he was speaking to on the phone.
“You keep mentioning Tati but no one knows Tati. Her roommates don’t even know Tati. You keep saying Tati is her friend,” the woman heard in the video said.
“Oh somebody’s missing and you don’t think it’s serious,” the man heard off-camera added.
“Maybe they’re hanging out. Well, they got this place right here,” Caballero said, indicating the apartment building. “They go downtown. I don’t know maybe her phone’s off. I don’t know where she is.”
The video was taken around 3am on 25 September after Ms Marcano’s room had been searched by an officer who found her bedroom door blocked, blood on her pillow, and that the window had been altered.
“She was supposed to show up for a flight and didn’t show up,” the woman said in the video.
Caballero opened his car door as if to leave just before the video comes to an end.
A statement from the lawyer of the Marcano family says that they knew something was not right when she missed her flight from Orlando to South Florida on 24 September, prompting them to call the police and ask that they check on Ms Marcano at her apartment.
Police searched the home along with Ms Marcano’s roommate, finding the bedroom door blocked and hard to open and that the window had been tampered with.
When the family was told by authorities about the state of the apartment, her parents asked other family members to go to the complex. They got there around 3am on Saturday 25 September and were trying to get into the apartment when Caballeroa came to the scene, WTSP reported. It was at this point that the three-minute video was filmed.
The body of Ms Marcano was found bound and gagged on Saturday 2 October in a wooded area close to another apartment complex where Caballero had previously lived.
Marcano family Lawyer Daryl Washington said she was discovered with tape around her feet and wrists with her mouth covered.
The investigation is ongoing and the medical examiner hasn’t announced a cause of death.
“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,” Orange County Sheriff John Mina said after Ms Marcano’s body was found.