Miya Marcano's heartbroken family feel 'helpless' while they wait for body to be identified & won't go home without her

THE heartbroken family of Miya Marcano says they feel "helpless" while they wait for her body to be officially identified by police, three days after remains matching the teen's description were found.

Miya, 19, vanished on September 24 at the Arden Villas apartments in Orlando, where she lived and worked in the building's leasing office.

The prime suspect in her disappearance, the complex's 27-year-old maintenance man Armando Manuel Caballero, was found dead from a suspected suicide just three days later.

Police, along with a cohort of Miya's family members, tirelessly searched for the teen for seven days before a body believed to be hers was found in a wooded area near the Tymber Skan apartments in Seminole County on Saturday morning.

An autopsy has not yet been completed, but Orange County Sheriff John Mina said he's "pretty confident" the body is Miya's, as a purse with her ID in it was found nearby.

Speaking exclusively to The Sun, Miya's cousin Caili Sue said the family is still struggling to process the tragic news.

"I think everyone is still in shock," Caili said. "We are kind of lost waiting for them to release her body.

"We feel helpless while we sit here waiting."


Caili, who traveled to Orlando from Fort Lauderdale on September 25 to search for Miya, added that the family has so far received no updates from police about when the autopsy will likely be completed, nor any new information about what may have happened to Miya in her final moments of life.

She said that the family will remain in Orlando while they wait for the outcome of the autopsy.

They will then start planning funeral services in South Florida once her body has been released to them, Caili said.

"We are not leaving without Miya," she added. "We will get justice for her once things die down and we bring her home."

Read our Miya Marcano live blog for the very latest news and updates…

Caili previously told The Sun the family had been left "devastated" by the discovery of her believed remains, having earlier voiced confidence and hope that she would be found alive.

"We are devastated. We are angry and we know our lives have now been changed forever," Caili said. "Everyone has been very somber since the announcement."


Speaking to local media over the weekend the family's attorney, Daryl Washington, said Miya's relatives have been "doing horrible" since Saturday's tragic discovery.

"There’s no sugarcoating at all. [Saturday] was a very difficult day," he said.

Washington also revealed that the family had paid one last visit to the Arden Villas complex to pack up Miya's belongings.

"That’s when it really hit home. Because the last time the father was here, it was unpacking then. And he was thinking about the memories about how excited Miya was to be in her own place," Washington said.

Miya was last seen alive at around 5pm on September 24 as she left work in the Arden Villas leasing office and returned to her apartment.

She had been due to fly to Fort Lauderdale to visit her family that night but never boarded the plane.

A subsequent search of her apartment showed signs of a violent struggle: the door to her bedroom was barricaded, the room was in a state of disarray and there was a bloodstain on Miya's pillow.


The prime suspect, Armando Caballero, was found dead from suicide three days later as investigators closed in on him.

According to police, Caballero had repeatedly expressed "romantic interest" in Miya prior to her disappearance – unwanted advances that were routinely rebuffed by the teen.

He was also known to be in possession of a master key that was used to enter her apartment at 4.30pm on Friday, around 30 minutes before Miya finished work and was last seen.

Over the weekend, police released new information that provided a clearer timeline of what happened next.

Around three hours after Miya returned home, cellphone records show Caballero drove to Tymber Skan and was there for about 20 minutes.

Then later, sometime after 3am, he traveled to New Smyrna Beach and spent an hour there.

"I do think that he was trying to throw authorities off the trail by going all over the place by going up to New Smyrna Beach," Washington said.

The morning after, Caballero was caught on camera carrying gloves and a blanket, as well as a backpack, out of his car before entering a building.


Caili previously told The Sun that Caballero was "obsessed and infatuated" with Miya, and "constantly" texted her despite her making it clear she wasn't interested in him.

She said Miya told at least two of her friends that Caballero's advances and behavior made her feel uncomfortable.

Caili also revealed that her aunt, Semone Westmaas, shared a chilling encounter with Caballero just hours after Miya vanished.

Westmaas encountered the maintenance worker outside of the apartment on the morning of September 25 as they waited for police to arrive.

"He was trying to leave. His lights were off," Westmaas recounted. "He said, ‘Are you looking for Miya?’ I said, ‘Who are you?’ He said, ‘I’m the maintenance guy. I heard you’re looking for me’. I didn’t know who this guy was at the time."

Caili said the family found the encounter "weird" because they hadn't yet publicized that Miya was missing.

The teen's father, Marlon Marcano, then approached Caballero and asked if he had been in contact with his daughter.

Caili said Caballero was acting skittish and seemed "quite nervous".

He answered a series of questions from police, claiming to them he had last seen Miya at 3pm on Friday, before leaving.

Police later issued a warrant for his arrest on a burglary charge after discovering he'd entered Miya's apartment without her knowledge or permission.


Caballero was then found dead on Monday, with 911 audio revealing how his lifeless body was found hanging in a maintenance garage at the Sabal Club apartment complex in Seminole County.

Caili said the family is enraged by Caballero's suicide, accusing him of taking the "cowardly way out."

"We are angry because he's left us with some many questions, questions that may go forever unanswered because there may be things that only he was only present and only he'll ever know.

"I just feel really angry and frustrated because I felt like we had him and then he was gone."

Orange County Sheriff John Mina said he had been dead "for some time" when he was found by deputies.

Then on Saturday, Mina announced that investigators had found remains that they believed to belong to Miya.


The body was apparently found in a wooded area near the Tymber Skan apartments in Seminole County where Caballero once lived.

Overgrown fields, piles of trash, and abandoned buildings line the area where the remains were found, images from the scene show.

Mina said search parties combed the area Saturday morning after Caballero's cellphone data placed him there for 20 minutes just hours after Miya's disappearance.

“Nothing in the records indicate that he ever returned there before he killed himself,” Mina said.

In a statement to reporters on Saturday, Mina said his department has been left heartbroken by the tragic discovery.

"Our hearts are broken," Mina said. "Hundreds of Orange County Sheriff's Office personnel were committed to this case and working very hard. Everyone wanted this outcome to be different.

"As a community, as a father, we are grieving the loss of Miya. We can't imagine the pain of Miya's family, loved ones, friends, and really our entire community has gone through."


Miya's tearful friends and relatives gathered outside of her apartment on Saturday night to honor the teen Caili remembered as "smart, funny, and incredibly caring."

Speaking from the vigil, Caili said: "She was only 19 years old. She had the whole rest of her life ahead of her.

"I can’t even put into words how we are feeling right now as a family. I feel defeated.

"I feel like I failed my cousin and I don’t know how I’m going to get through this."

Violet Deville, Miya’s grandmother, told the Orlando Sentinel: "It’s been tragic, it’s been horrible, it’s not something we were looking forward for.

"Even though some of us had it in the back of our minds, we still had hope that we would find her alive."

We pay for your stories!

Do you have a story for The US Sun team?

Email us at [email protected] or call 212 416 4552.

Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheSunUS and follow us from our main Twitter account at @TheSunUS

    Source: Read Full Article