VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – The Orange County Sheriff’s Office is continuing a large-scale search in New Smyrna Beach for missing 19-year-old Miya Marcano.
Dozens of deputies began the search after 9 a.m. in a wilderness area near Peninsula Avenue and Saxon Drive.
Investigators have focused on the area after receiving information about a ping from the cell phone of Armando Caballero, who deputies named the prime suspect in Marcano’s disappearance.
According to investigators, Caballero, who is a maintenance worker at the apartment complex where Marcano lived and worked, improperly used a master key to enter her apartment the same day Marcano went missing.
Deputies said Caballero was found dead of an apparent suicide three days after Marcano was last seen.
“At this time, we don’t believe there was another person involved,” said Sheriff John Mina on Thursday.
The sheriff has said that Marcano had repeatedly “rebuffed” romantic advances by Caballero. Detectives spoke to Caballero after Marcano was reported missing, but had no evidence to detain him at that time. They obtained a warrant for his arrest after learning that he had entered her apartment before she disappeared. His body was then found inside a garage.
More than 60 detectives are working exclusively on the case, the sheriff said. About 176 personnel across Orange, Seminole and Volusia counties are assisting in the search, which includes trained dogs from multiple agencies, helicopters, dive teams and digital methods. Detectives have conducted nearly 30 searches, he added.
Marcano, a 19-year-old Valencia College student, was last seen just before 5 p.m. last Friday. Her family reported her missing after she missed a flight home to South Florida that evening.
Crimeline is offering a reward of up to $15,000 for anyone who knows the whereabouts of Marcano.