Searchers in Florida have found what officials believe is the body of Miya Marcano, a 19-year-old Florida woman with ties to the U.S. Virgin Islands.
At a news conference Saturday, Orange County Sheriff John Mina said that they are “very certain of the identity,” but they cannot say what the cause of death is until medical examiners release their final report.
Marcano, who lived and worked at the Arden Villas apartment complex in Orlando, Florida, was last seen around 5 p.m. Sept. 24. Marcano, a student at the University of Central Florida, was scheduled to board a flight from Orlando to Fort Lauderdale that evening. When she never made it, her family jumped into action and drove to Orlando in search of Marcano.
Since then, police identified a person of interest in Marcano’s disappearance: 27-year-old Armando Manuel Caballero, who was found dead on Monday in an apparent suicide in Seminole County. His vehicle was found at the scene and impounded by police.
According to Mina, Marcano’s body was discovered around 10:45 a.m. Saturday in a wooded area near the Tymber Skan Apartments, where Caballero once lived. A purse with Marcano’s identification was also found with her body. Mina also confirmed that since the discovery of the body, Marcano’s family has been notified.
Cell phone records showed that Caballero was in or near the apartments between 8 and 9 p.m. Sept. 24, the evening that Marcano went missing, and was there for about 20 minutes. Mina said there was no indication that Caballero returned to the scene prior to committing suicide.
According to Mina, the searchers were focused on the New Smyrna Beach in Orlando on Thursday and half of Friday because cell phone records indicated that he was in that area for about an hour.
Since Marcano went missing, the Virgin Islands community rallied together to spread the word about Marcano, who has family ties to the territory. Posters of Marcano’s face flooded timelines and the media both locally and nationally.
Caballero was a maintenance worker at the Arden Villas apartments, where Marcano lived and worked. According to reports, after demonstrating a romantic interest in Marcano he was repeatedly rebuffed by Marcano. During the initial investigation, he told deputies that he last saw Marcano at 3 p.m. while working, but a maintenance-issued key fob indicated that he had entered Marcano’s apartment at 4:30 p.m., 30 minutes before her shift was over.