The body of a 19-year-old college student, believed to be Miya Marcano, who was reportedly missing last month, was found in Orlando, Florida, officials said.
Marcano has been missing since September 24, when she was last seen in a red shirt and jeans in the Arden Villas apartment complex in Orlando where she worked and lived. Orange County Sheriff’s Office Said.
Investigators found what appears to be Marcano’s body in the woodlands near the Timberscan apartment in Orlando on Saturday, officials said. It’s about 20 miles from the apartment she lived in.
“Our heart is broken,” said John W. Mina of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office at a press conference on Saturday.
“The entire Valencia community is saddened by the loss of one of us,” Marcano’s student Valencia College said in a statement.
Sheriffs said authorities had not yet identified the cause of death. “We are very confident in our identities, but positive identities must come from the coroner’s office,” he said.
Officials say 27-year-old Armand Manuel Caballero was “interested” in Marcano’s disappearance. Caballero, a conservative in Arden Villas’ apartment, had a romantic interest in Marcano, but she “repeatedly rejected” him, Sheriff Mina said at a press conference Thursday.
Caballero initially told investigators that Marcano was last met at 3 pm on the day he was last seen.
According to sheriffs, investigators said the maintenance-issued master key fob, known to have been owned by Mr. Caberero, was used to enter Mr. Marcano’s apartment on the last seen Friday afternoon. Obtained an arrest warrant.
On September 27, police found Caballero dead in an alleged suicide at Camden Club Apartments on the outskirts of Orlando. The sheriff’s office then labeled him as the prime suspect for her disappearance.
According to cell phone records, Mr. Caballero was near the apartment in Timberscan, where Marcano’s body was believed to have been found, on the night when she was reported missing.
“He was there for about 20 minutes,” said Sheriff Mina. “There is nothing in the record to show that he returned there before he committed suicide.”
More than 60 detectives have worked on the case. The search effort spanned three counties and included 175 people, helicopters, and diving teams. The FBI announced on Friday that it was supporting the case at the sheriff’s office.
Sheriff Mina said authorities “quite decisively” believed that Mr Caballero was responsible and added that he would not look for anyone else in connection with the case.
“As a community, as a sheriff, as a father, obviously we are saddened by the loss of Miya,” he said. “Once again, we cannot imagine the pain and suffering that Miya’s parents, family, loved ones and friends, and in fact our entire community, have experienced and will continue to experience.”
Marcano’s father, Marlon Marcano, said on Instagram that his heart was broken on Saturday morning. “I need it to be perfect again,” he said.
Marcano’s disappearance follows the disappearance of a white woman, Gabriel Petit, who was reported missing last month, and the widely publicized case was the tens of thousands of women and girls reported missing. Many raised new questions about blacks, Latina, and indigenous peoples. Every year, I go unnoticed.