Miya Marcano is a missing person who was last seen at work in Orlando, Florida, on September 24, 2021. The Orange County Sheriff’s Office and other law enforcement agencies are conducting a search for the 19-year-old woman.
Orange County Sheriff John Mina identified a person of interest in the case, Armando Manuel Caballero, 27, who was found dead of apparent suicide on Monday, September 27, Mina said during a press conference the same day. The Orange County Sheriff’s Office issued a statement and a missing poster for Marcano.
“We urge anyone with any information, no matter how insignificant it may seem, to call the OCSO non-emergency line at 407-836-4357. If you spot Miya, call 911,” the statement said.
The sheriff’s office had scheduled a press conference for 1 p.m. Eastern time, but the media event was postponed to 3 p.m. You can watch the press conference here or later in this post.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Marcano Is a College Student at Valencia College & Law Enforcement Said Foul Play Is Suspected
Marcano is a college student who attends Valencia University, NBC News reported. The apartment complex where she works and lives, Arden Villas, is only about one mile from the University of Central Florida, the news outlet reported. Mina released additional details on the search during the September 27 press conference.
“We are here today because we need our entire community’s help in locating 19-year-old Miya Marcano,” he said.
He described the disappearance as “suspicious” and said foul play is suspected.
“We are still doing everything possible we can to find her,” he said.
The proximity of the university to the place she was last seen prompted school officials to ask students to keep an eye out in the search.
“While Miya Marcano is not currently a UCF student, we support Orange County Sheriff’s efforts in the search to find Marcano,” UCF officials wrote on Twitter on September 26.
2. ‘Help Us Bring Miya Home,’ Her Grandmother Said & Her Aunt Called Her ‘The Family’s Princess’
Marcano’s grandmother, Joysue Thompson, told WESH 2 News that the family of the missing teen just wants her brought home safe.
“All we ask you is help us bring Miya home,” Thompson told the news outlet. “Bring her home safe, just drop her off and let us know where she is and we’ll pick her up – just bring her home.”
Mina said in his press conference that based on interviews with the family, she routinely stayed in contact with them and would not let her phone battery die.
Her aunt said during the press conference that her family believes she is still alive. She said they are a family of faith, and that they want Miya to call her family so they can pick her up.
3. Caballero Had Romantic Interest in Marcano That She ‘Repeatedly Rebuffed,’ the Sheriff Said
Mina said during the press conference that Caballero was romantically interested in Marcano and that she “repeatedly rebuffed” his advances. Mina said deputies spoke to Caballero, and that he claimed he last saw her at about 3 p.m. the day of her disappearance. Investigators learned he used a master key to enter her apartment at about 4:30 p.m. that day, about 30 minutes before she finished her shift, Mina said.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that she was last seen at about 5 p.m. Friday, September 24, 2021, at Arden Villas apartments, 3303 Arden Villas Boulevard in Orlando, Florida.
Her dad told WESH 2 News that Marcano works in the leasing office of the apartment complex. He said that he spoke to her on the afternoon of her disappearance but did not hear from her after she got off work, the news outlet reported.
Marcano is 5 feet tall weighing about 130 pounds with brown hair and green eyes, according to the statement from the sheriff’s office.
“Our deputies and investigators are working around the clock to find 19-year-old Miya Marcano,” the statement said.
Mina said during his press conference that Caballero was a maintenance person at the apartment complex. Caballero started working at the apartment complex in June, and he also lives there, Mina said.
4. Neighbors Commented on the Search for Marcano & Said Police Were Looking in a Pond & Wooded Area
WESH 2 News reported there was heavy law enforcement presence around the apartment complex where Marcano was last seen. A neighbor told the news outlet law enforcement was searching the back of the apartment complex, a retention pond and an area with trees.
“Bunch of sheriffs and everything was in this parking lot and they all come marching across,” Matthew Knapp, who lives near Arden Villas Apartments, told the news outlet.
Juan Castillo, who also lives nearby, told WESH 2 News he saw a search helicopter circling overhead.
“It sent chills down my spine to be honest, because I didn’t know what they were looking for and yesterday the chopper that’s above us now was searching five or six times doing circles around,” Castillo said in an interview with the news outlet.
5. Marcano Was Scheduled to Fly Home to Visit Her Family After Work, but She Never Boarded the Plane
Marcano was scheduled to fly home to visit her family Friday night, September 24, 2021, the day of her disappearance, but WESH 2 News reported that she never boarded the plane. Instead, her family traveled from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to Orlando to speak with detectives, the news outlet reported.
“HELP US FIND MIYA: 19-year-old Miya Marcano is still missing. Our deputies and investigators are doing everything they can to locate her, but we need you to continue to spread the word,” said a statement from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office Sunday, September 26, 2021.
Mina said during the press conference that when deputies questioned Caballero, he was not considered a person of interest. He said that they gathered information from him because he was a maintenance person at the location where Marcano was last seen alive.
Police later issued an arrest warrant for burglary for Caballero after they say they gathered information that he entered her apartment without permission using an apartment master key he had access to as a maintenance worker. His vehicle was found by authorities near where his body was found at his apartment in Seminole County, Mina said. Police are continuing their investigation and gathering information on Caballero, he said.