ORLANDO, Fla. — Months after the disappearance and death of Florida college student Miya Marcano, whose body was found in a wooded area a week after she was reported missing in Orlando, a newly-released report confirms her family's worst nightmare.
The Orange County Sheriff's Office released all of its findings, including details on how detectives believe the 19-year-old was killed.
Back in October 2021, Miya's body was found "nearly completely skeletonized" near a dilapidated apartment complex following an 8-day long search for the college student, the sheriff's office reported. The Orange County Sheriff's Office says she was killed by a handyman at the apartment complex where they both worked, and where Marcano lived. Detectives were unable to interrogate the handyman, Armando Caballero, because he died by suicide on Sept. 27 in Seminole County, according to authorities. However, evidence, including the presence of Miya's blood and hair found in Caballero's belongings, led detectives to believe Caballero was the killer. He was the only person of interest in the case.
The investigation began when Marcano’s family reached out to law enforcement after Miya missed a flight home to Ft. Lauderdale and was unreachable.
The investigative report lists several dates and key findings in the investigation that had not been released until now.
Sept. 24, 2021
The Orange County Sheriff's Office said Caballero illegally and against Arden Villas apartment policy entered Miya's apartment at 4:34 p.m. using a maintenance on-call key fob knowing she was scheduled to get off work at the complex at 5 p.m.
Miya's key fob activated her door at 5:06 p.m. and went into her apartment the sheriff's office said. That's when "Armando attacked her and a struggle ensued." Evidence proved there was a struggle by a number of evidential factors: the condition of her room and bed, broken jewelry on the floor and blood stains on a bedroom pillow and living room pillow.
By 5:50 p.m., detectives believe Caballero had already killed Miya and transported her body to the trunk of his car through her bedroom window, in which Miya's roommate pointed out to detectives that her dad implemented a lock on the window that had been removed. He also positioned a storage shelf under the bedroom door handle to stop entry and exit from her room, the report said.
Caballero was seen leaving the apartment complex at around 5:52 p.m., the report says. And he went home where he stayed for less than 30 minutes before returning to the Arden Villas complex at around 7 p.m. He then called in a fake maintenance order from his created Google number for an unrelated apartment to show a reason for his return, the sheriff's office said.
At around 7:38 p.m., Caballero left the Arden Villas area and, through tag records phone records and vehicle GPS data, detectives say he arrived at the Tymberskan apartments at around 8:30 p.m. where he abandoned Miya's body from his car and placed her in a heavily wooded area that leads to a lake behind the complex. Miya's body was duct-taped at her legs, hands and neck area with black duct tape similar to the one he uses for maintenance work, the sheriff's office said in the report.
Concerned because Miya never reached Ft. Lauderdale, her mother called the Orange County Sheriff's Office to do a wellness check. The deputy found things in her room that were out of order.
Sept. 25, 2021
At around 3:52 a.m. Miya's dad, Marlon Marcano, called the sheriff's office to come back to Miya's apartment at Arden Villas. He and other family members had driven up from Ft. Lauderdale and noticed concerning things in her apartment regarding her disappearance, including a box cutter that was found in her room.
That same morning just after 4 a.m., the sheriff's office said Caballero was seen outside Miya's apartment in his car. He stepped out of his car to speak with deputies and told them he was at the apartment complex because he was just informed by a co-worker that Miya was missing.
Miya's family believed they saw a blanket that looked like her's in his car and while the deputy couldn't make the distinction if it was related to the case, he brought it up to Caballero anyway. The deputy then cleared the scene and told Miya's family to call the sheriff's office if anything changes.
Sept. 26, 2021
Detectives interviewed two people, including one of her co-workers, with which she frequently spoke.
In both interviews, the two told detectives that Caballero had a romantic interest in Miya, however, she did not share that same sentiment and made it known, it says in the full report. During the two separate interviews, they both state that Caballero sent Miya $600 through Cash App which she tried to refund, but he kept re-sending the payment.
Sept. 27, 2021
Armando Caballero was found dead by apparent suicide in Seminole County, the sheriff's office said.
Oct. 2, 2021
The Orange County Sheriff's Office located Miya's body in a wooded area near the Tymberskan apartments.
In conclusion of the investigation, the Orange County Sheriff's Office believes Caballero acted alone in the kidnapping and murder of Miya Marcano. Since Caballero died by suicide, the case is closed and there are no further prosecutions pending.
Family and friends gathered for Miya's funeral on Oct. 10, 2021.
Since Miya's death, many questions have been raised about safety and security even behind locked doors.
The Florida Senate unanimously approved a bill that aims to improve tenant safety in apartment buildings in March 2022. SB 898: Tenant Safety, filed by Sen. Linda Stewart (D-Orlando), is also known as "Miya's Law" given 19-year-old Miya Marcano inspired the bill.
"Miya's Law" strengthens requirements regarding access to individual units, increases required notice to 24 hours, requires apartments to establish policies for issuing and returning keys and requires a key log to be maintained with access only given to authorized individuals. The bill will now go to the House for approval.