Miya Marcano's body found in Orlando, examiner confirms; family plans foundation in her honor

·3 min read

A body found over the weekend has been identified as Miya Marcano, a 19-year-old college student who went missing in late September, a Florida medical examiner confirmed Tuesday.

Joshua Stephany, chief medical examiner for Orange and Osceola counties, confirmed the identification of the body, which was found in a wooded area near an Orlando apartment complex Saturday morning.

"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," Stephany said in a statement.

Marcano's family from the Virgin Islands, Trinidad, New York, Canada and across Florida came together to search for her and to support each other after confirmation of her death, said Caili Sue, her older cousin, at a Sunday news conference.

"Anyone who could find their way here is here," she said.

She added: "Now we're focused on making sure we get justice for Miya."

Marcano would have left for South Florida this week for the Miami Broward Carnival, just as she did when she was little, family members said. The chair of the festival told NBC Miami the event would honor Marcano this year.

University of Central Florida football players also said they will play in honor of Marcano, according to Fox 35 Orlando.

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Before she went missing, Marcano, a student at Valencia College in Orlando, was last seen at the Arden Villa apartment complex where she lived and worked the evening of Sept. 24. That evening, a maintenance worker at the complex used a master key fob to access her apartment, Orange County Sheriff John W. Mina said Saturday.

The worker, Armando Caballero, 27, had worked at the complex since June and is considered a person of interest in the case. Mina said Caballero showed romantic interest in Marcano, which she "repeatedly rebuffed."

Authorities found Caballero dead just north of Orlando on Sept. 27 and Mina said it appeared Caballero "killed himself." After Caballero's body was found, his cellphone records led detectives to an Orlando apartment complex, where Marcano's body was found.

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

Speaking during a news conference, Daryl K. Washington, the attorney representing Marcano's family, said this was not Caballero's first alleged incident of harassment and questioned the background check done on Caballero before he was hired by the Arden Villa Apartment complex.

In a statement posted to Instagram, Arden Villa said all employees were "vetted through a national background check services provider" and no records of burglary or sexual assault were found during Caballero's background check. The statement added no reports had been filed against Caballero.

"Had any harassing behavior been discovered, termination would have been immediate," the statement said.

Washington responded Tuesday.

"If they conducted an extensive background check, it definitely wasn't extensive enough," he said.

Marcano's family hopes to create a foundation in her honor to advocate for legal changes in the hiring process for employees that have access to people's homes, Washington said.

Contact News Now Reporter Christine Fernando at cfernando@usatoday.com or follow her on Twitter at @christinetfern.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Miya Marcano's body found in Orlando; family planning foundation

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