Miya Marcano died of ‘homicide by undetermined means,’ Orange County medical examiner says

Marcano suffered ‘some type of assault,” records show

Miya Marcano’s loved ones searched for her for about eight days in Orlando. When authorities found her remains outdoors, the medical examiner was unable to identify the precise cause of her death, according to a report authorities released on Monday.

Orlando’s District Nine Medical Examiner’s Office determined the 19-year-old college student who vanished on Sept. 24 and turned up dead on Oct. 2 died of “homicide by undetermined means,” according to the final Dec. 16 report.

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Dr. Joshua Stephany, the medical examiner, reported Marcano’s body was “nearly skeletonized” and “in advanced putrefactive decomposition,” according to News 6 partners WPLG.

Orange County Sheriff John Mina said detectives identified her killer as Armando Caballero, a maintenance worker at the Arden Villas apartment complex where she lived. They believe he abandoned her body in the outdoor area of the Tymber Skan Apartments.

Detectives didn’t get to interrogate Caballero. The Casselberry Police Department officers saw him leave his apartment on Sept. 25. Deputies found him dead on Sept. 27 and said he died by suicide in Seminole County.

[TIMELINE: Here’s what happened before, after Miya Marcano went missing]

According to the medical examiner’s report, there was black duct tape on Marcano’s neck, binding both of her wrists behind her back, and binding her ankles. Stephany performed the autopsy on Oct. 3. He wrote she was the victim of “some type of assault” and it is possible the duct tape on her neck could have been covering her nose or mouth.

“Very little residual soft tissue is available to examine for injury ... Examination of recovered bones reveals no evidence of trauma.”

Steward Reference Laboratory received a muscle specimen on Oct. 4 and conducted a toxicology report. Marcano tested negative for all substances including fentanyl and cocaine, according to the report. Her closed-casket funeral service was on Oct 14 in Cooper City.

As a tribute, her family created the Miya Marcano Foundation to “support, educate and provide resources to families of missing persons while advocating for the protection of students and our most vulnerable population.”

About the Author:

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.