ORLANDO, Fla. – Loved ones and friends of 19-year-old Miya Marcano came together Thursday morning to honor the life and legacy of the missing Valencia College student who was found dead last month.
Her funeral was held at the Cooper City Church of God in South Florida.
At her funeral, her family members and close friends grieved and consoled each other.
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“Uncle loves you, and I know you can hear me. I know one day I’ll get to hear you say it back to me too,” Miya’s uncle Marvin said. “Love you baby, rise in power, fly high, we won’t stop until all are held accountable.”
“Miya can light up any room. She had a magical way of bringing joy into she walked into a room,” Miya’s cousin Caili Sue said.
“None of us know the days nor the hour when our time shall come, but she was taken too short from us.” She went on to say, “Justice will be served for our beloved Miya,” another cousin said.
A video tribute played at the funeral humanized Miya as a family woman who embraced her Caribbean culture, loved adventure, and always found a way to make people smile.
Marcano’s body was found by authorities over one week ago in a wooded area near Tymber Skan Condominiums off South Texas Avenue where investigators said a person of interest in her death had lived at one time.
Prior to her body being found, Marcano was last seen on Friday, Sept. 24, at Arden Villas Apartments near the University of Central Florida, where she lived and worked.
Deputies suspect the 19-year-old was killed by Arden Villas maintenance worker Armando Caballero, who had access to her home. Caballero was found dead of an apparent suicide in the days after Marcano was reported missing.
According to the family’s attorney, Marcano’s parents launched the Miya Marcano Memorial Foundation to support and provide resources to families of those who are missing and “advocating for the protection of students and our most vulnerable population.”
“The ability to help other families and the opportunity to do my part to evoke change with the very systems that didn’t protect my daughter Miya, gives us some comfort. Miya always said she would change the world, and we want to ensure her legacy lives on and helps as many people as possible,” Yma Scarbriel, Miya Marcano’s mother, said in a release.
The day after Marcano was found, the family and their attorney, well-known civil rights attorney Daryl Washington, held a press conference saying they are working hold anyone responsible and accountable for her disappearance.
“We are looking at all legal remedies that’s available to the family, because It’s very clear there was some negligence in this case,” Washington said.
During a news conference Tuesday, Washington said that there are still questions to be answered in the investigation.
“We don’t know how she left that apartment complex, we don’t know whether if she was dead or alive. But we do know is there were critical hours there were lost,” he said.
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations to the Miya Marcano Memorial Foundation.