ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – The sound of gospel music and scriptures could be heard in the parking lot of the Arden Villas apartment complex near the University of Central Florida.
A crowd of more than 50 people gathered Tuesday evening to pray for the safe return of Miya Marcano.
The 19-year-old vanished on Sept. 24 sparking public heartbreak and intensive ground searches. Marcano’s aunt Semone Westmaas led the event and expressed she hopes someone who knows the whereabouts of Marcano will come forward.
“Whoever did this, wherever you are, we just want you to bring Miya home. You can drop her off on the side of the road, just tell us where she is,” Westmaas said.
Between tears and hugs, the teen’s family members could be seen embracing one another as Westmaas recited the book of Psalms.
On Monday, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office reported Armando Caballero who was named a person of interest in Miya’s disappearance died from an apparent suicide.
Despite Caballero’s death, Miya’s family says they are putting their faith in God and have faith she is still alive.
“Since Friday night we have been asking and I do believe we will receive,” Westmaas said.
Marcano’s English professor at Valencia College Nicholas DeArmas was stunned to hear the news of her disappearance.
“When I got to class [Tuesday,] we had a moment of silence at the beginning of class,” DeArmas said. “I didn’t think something bad happened to her, I still don’t, I hope not, but it’s hard to believe and I tie my hopes to an explanation that makes more sense than this.”
Many of the attendees said they plan to resume their search for Marcano on Wednesday.