The body found near an apartment complex over the weekend has been identified as Miya Marcano, a student in Florida, authorities confirmed on Tuesday.
The death of the 19-year-old is still under investigation and the cause of death has not been disclosed, according to a statement from Joshua Stephany, chief medical examiner for Orange and Osceola counties.
Marcano was last seen on September 24 at her home at the Arden Villas apartment complex in Orlando, about a mile from the University of Central Florida. Marcano, a sophomore at Valencia College, was supposed to return home to Fort Lauderdale that day, but did not show up for her flight.
His remains were found behind another apartment complex, Tymber Skan on the Lake, on Saturday. A purse with her ID was found near her body, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said.
MPs were in the area because cellphone recordings showed Armando Manuel Caballero, whom Orange County authorities called a “prime suspect”, was in or near the apartments the same evening Marcano has been reported missing.
Orange County Sheriff John Mina said Caballero lived in the complex and stayed there for about 20 minutes.
Caballero, 27, was a maintenance worker at the Arden Villas apartment complex and had shown interest in Marcano, but she repeatedly “pushed back” his romantic advances, Mina said previously.
Caballero was given access to a master key that authorities believe he used to gain access to Marcano’s apartment around 4:30 p.m., about half an hour before the end of his shift in the rental office.
He was found dead on September 27 of an apparent suicide, although authorities do not know when he died. Mina said “he had been dead for some time” by the time authorities found his body.
Daryl K. Washington, the attorney representing Marcano’s family, said Tuesday after the identification that there were concerns about Caballero’s background check. He said he spoke to someone at a resort where Caballero previously worked and that this was not the first alleged incident of harassment.
“Someone had an incident where he was standing in the apartment complex, in the lady’s apartment complex without her permission,” Washington said. “So this is something that has been going on for quite some time now.”
Marcano’s family want to create a foundation focused on changing laws about how certain employees with access to people’s homes are hired, Washington added.
“Maybe they see this as a not very important job, but it’s an extremely important job because these are people walking into people’s apartments,” Washington said. “So if you want to have access to an individual’s apartment then we have to make sure that there is a proper background and reference check, you want to talk to people about their last employer.”
The Arden Villas responded to concerns about Caballero’s story in a statement on its Instagram page last week, saying all applicants for a position are screened “through a national provider of background check services “. He added that there had been no reports of sexual harassment, or “the termination would have been immediate”.
“Regarding Mr. Caballero specifically, no record of burglary or sexual assault was found during his background check, and reports to the contrary are not based on facts or reports that we have seen,” said the apartment complex.
Marcano’s aunt, Gabriela Sánchez, told Noticias Telemundo in an interview that she never believed a tragedy like this could happen to her family.
“It’s a pain in the chest and stomach that we have,” Sanchez said. “I don’t know how, as a family, we’re going to continue with this pain.”