Orange County deputies release final report in Miya Marcano case

Final report documents events leading up to, following 19-year-old’s death

A surveillance photo shows Miya Marcano walking out of her apartment complex at 5:09 p.m. on Sept. 24. (Orange County Sheriff's Office)

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – The final report of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office investigation into the disappearance of Miya Marcano in September 2021 was released Tuesday.

Marcano, 19, was last seen leaving the front office of the Arden Villas apartments where she worked near the University of Central Florida around 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021, as shown in a surveillance photo released in the report. The sheriff’s office and her family said she was supposed to fly to Fort Lauderdale that night but never made the flight.

Her body was found in a wooded area near Tymber Skan Condominiums off South Texas Avenue on the morning of Saturday, Oct. 2, just over one week after she was reported missing.

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Authorities determined 27-year-old Armando Caballero, a maintenance worker at the complex, as a person of interest in her disappearance after learning he had “demonstrated a romantic interest in Miya” but was rejected by her several times. He was found dead from an apparent suicide at another apartment complex a few days after Marcano was reported missing, deputies said.

The 135-page report details interviews conducted with Marcano’s family members, people who were close to Caballero, and surveillance videos/search efforts made to try and locate the 19-year-old.

One person close to Marcano described Caballero’s texts to her like a “rollercoaster” and found the texts possibly showed an obsession with Marcano.

The sheriff’s office previously released information on the initial search of her apartment, where a detective found the bedroom window was not secured and there was a small piece of furniture propped up against the bedroom door inside the room. A photo taken from inside the room included in the final report showed a small white shelf situated against the bedroom door. Deputies also found a patch of dried blood on her pillow and a box cutter under her rug in the bedroom.

Detectives said they learned early on Caballero placed a fake maintenance call to establish an alibi around 7 p.m. on Sept. 24. The final report reveals the manager told deputies an emergency work order was placed from a resident in the same building as Marcano. After reviewing the phone number that placed the work order, officials said it was a Google number registered to Caballero.

Authorities said surveillance video showed Caballero driving a golf cart around the complex near Marcano’s apartment around 7 p.m., coinciding with times Marcano’s key fob showed it was used on her front door.

“It was later surmised that Armando was attempting to create a trail or some type of evidence showing Miya was still active and moving around that time by taking her key fob and registering an activation on her door,” the report said.

Marcano’s family confronted Caballero Saturday, Sept. 25, around 3:45 a.m. while a deputy was present. During the conversation, Caballero said he had just learned of the woman’s disappearance from a co-worker.

Attorneys representing the family told reporters days after her body was found the 19-year-old was found bound with tape around her feet and wrists and covering her mouth. The report showed investigators who performed a search warrant on Caballero’s car after his death found duct tape found under the passenger seat.

About the Author:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.