Updated: October 03, 2021 11:16 AM
Created: October 02, 2021 03:02 PM
Authorities say they have found the body of a missing Florida college student who disappeared a week ago.
Orange County Sheriff John Mina said Saturday that authorities found Miya Marcano’s body near an apartment building. The 19-year-old vanished on the same day a maintenance man improperly used a master key to enter her apartment. Her family reported her missing after she missed a flight home to South Florida on Sept. 24.
The sheriff previously said Armando Caballero, a maintenance worker at the apartment complex where Marcano lived and worked, is considered the “prime suspect.” Caballero, 27, apparently killed himself; his body was found three days after Marcano was last seen.
Authorities said Marcano had repeatedly “rebuffed” romantic advances by Caballero. Detectives spoke to Caballero after the Valencia College student was reported missing, but had no evidence to detain him at that time. They obtained a warrant for his arrest after learning he had entered her apartment before she disappeared. His body was then found inside a garage.
“At this time, we cannot identify a cause of death, so I don’t’ want to speculate on that,” Mina said of Marcano's death during a news conference Saturday.
The FBI and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement were among the hundreds of authorities searching for Marcano. Meanwhile, friends and family held a prayer vigil and passed out flyers desperate to find the missing teen.
The sheriff says cellphone records from Caballero led them to the area, showing he was at the apartment for about 20 minutes the night she was reported missing.
Mina says they notified her parents just hours ago, adding “our hearts are broken.”
“Everyone wanted this outcome to be different," he said. “As a sheriff, as a father, obviously we are grieving at the loss of Miya.”
Caballero 's criminal history revealed one prior arrest in the state. In December 2013, he was arrested in Polk County on charges of using a destructive device resulting in property damage and discharging a weapon on school property, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
An arrest report said Polk County sheriff’s deputies were called to the campus of Warner University after a report of a bomb going off inside a dorm. The explosive turned out to be a toilet bowl cleaner concoction inside a plastic drink bottle. The report said Caballero admitted to using the improvised explosive as a “prank” on other residents of the dorm. No one was injured.
The apartment complex, Arden Villa, released a statement saying “all potential employees are vetted through a national background check services provider,” and no records of burglary or sexual assault were found involving Caballero.
(Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)