ORLANDO, Fla. – Family and friends of Miya Marcano, a 19-year-old woman who was reported missing last week, continue to search for her in Orange County.
Family members began their search at the apartment complex in Seminole County where Armando Caballero, a person of interest in her disappearance, was found dead on Monday.
“It has much wooded — woodland areas and forest and swamps and it’s just too much for someone where someone could possibly have someone. But I don’t plan on finding a dead body,” Semone Westmaas said.
Westmaas added they had seen Caballero in his car at Marcano’s apartment complex over the weekend.
“He was trying to leave, his lights were off, and he said ‘Are you looking for Miya?’ And I said ‘who are you?’ He said ‘I’m the maintenance guy. I heard you were looking for Miya.’ I didn’t know who this guy was at the time,” Westmaas said.
Marcano was last seen Friday at the Arden Villas Apartments, where she lives and works, on University Boulevard near the University of Central Florida.
Family members searched near UCF, saying they are not giving up hope.
“Miya, this message is for you: I know you’re alive. I know you’re out there. We love you. You know our family is strong. You know we won’t sleep one night until we get you home,” Marcano’s aunt said on Monday.
The family and volunteers also plan to look for Marcano near Colonial Landing and Blanchard Park
Volunteers handed out flyers with Marcano’s picture and details about her disappearance.
Marcano’s case took a disturbing turn Monday when Orange County Sheriff John Mina announced that Caballero, 27, was found dead from an apparent suicide.
Caballero was a maintenance worker at Aden Villas Apartments and deputies said he had accessed Marcano’s unit.
“We now know that a maintenance issue master key fob, which Caballero was known to be in possession of, used it to enter Miya’s apartment Friday afternoon,” Mina said.
Marcano, a student at Valencia College, started taking classes in August 2020 and was pursuing an Associate in Arts degree, school officials said.
Investigators are pleading for anyone with information about Miya to come forward.
“She lives in the same building as me, so we often would have interactions,” Taylor Duffy, Marcno’s neighbor, said. “She just seemed very kind and welcomingAnd I think that’s why attracts people and that’s why it’s so heartbreaking.”
Duffy is now reacting after a resident at Arden villas apartments sent News 6 an email detailing a new maintenance system they say the complex has now put in place. The email says all current service requests in the system have been closed, and it asks residents to now schedule a service request appointment.
“I think that recent email helps. That they’re now going to be doing maintenance requests on an appointment basis. Making sure the renter is present and making sure they know exactly when the maintenance person will be arriving,” Duffy said.
Tuesday, News 6 received an email from a spokesperson for the Arden Villas apartments. It reads:
“After a thorough review of the ongoing reporting on the situation surrounding Ms. Marcano, we would like to provide the following factual updates. Regarding our hiring process, all potential employees are vetted through a national background check services provider. Concerning Mr. Caballero specifically, no records of either burglary or sexual assault were found, and rumors to the contrary appear to be based on online documents referencing someone else with the same name. As part of the onboarding process, all new employees undergo thorough sexual harassment deterrence training, covering aspects from recognizing what qualifies as inappropriate to how to report unwanted behavior. We take all accusations very seriously but received none from any parties involved directly or indirectly with the situation.
To ensure nothing like this happens again at Arden Villas, we are taking numerous, proactive steps to enhance our security protocols. We immediately repositioned a guard to the front gate to document all residents and guests entering and leaving the premises. Additionally, we have upgraded our maintenance procedures to allow for appointment-only bookings. We are in the process of reviewing our entire security apparatus and will make changes or upgrades as warranted.
Again, we implore anyone with any information regarding either Ms. Marcano and/or Mr. Caballero as it relates to this situation to please contact the Orange County Sheriff’s Office at 407-836-4357 or Crimeline at 800-423-8477.
News 6 obtained court documents revealing Cabellero had a criminal record from 2017. Cabellero was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon which was eventually lessened to discharging a destructive device.