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Miya Marcano's family releases video of encounter with person of interest in her disappearance

The family's lawyer also released a statement criticizing the sheriff's office's handling of the case.
Credit: Jodi Lewis

ORLANDO, Fla. — Miya Marcano's family has released a video showing an encounter they had with maintenance worker, Armando Caballero, in the hours after Marcano went missing.

They also released a statement through their lawyer criticizing the Orange County Sheriff's Office handling of the 19-year-old's disappearance, which details the events the led up to the confrontation.

According to the statement, Marcano's family knew something was wrong with Miya after she missed her flight from Orlando to South Florida on Friday, Sept. 24. They say this prompted them to contact the sheriff's office to check on Marcano at her apartment.

When a deputy arrived, the statement says, he searched the apartment with Marcano's roommate and found a dresser preventing them from opening the teen's bedroom door and noticeable tampering on her window.

Upon learning this information, Marcano's parents say they called on family members to drive to her Orlando apartment from Miami. 

They arrived around 3 a.m. Saturday and were working with the security guard to get access to Marcano's room when Caballero arrived a short time later, according to the statement.

That's when the family says the three-minute video was taken. 

Footage shows 27-year-old Caballero speaking with an Orange County deputy while members of Marcano's family asked why he was there.

"You have sent obsessive texts to Miya," a family member can be heard saying to Caballero off-camera. "We have all seen the texts. You talk about giving her your life savings."

"I never said that," Caballero responded.

The person also accused Caballero of having an "obsession" with Marcano.

”It’s not only from my side, so don’t try to make this like I’m a stalker,” Caballero said in response.

In the video, Caballero claims he showed up at the apartment complex because he was "concerned." But the family's statement claims Caballero was off work at the time and had no reason for being there.

After seeing the video from Marcano's family, the Orange County Sheriff's Office held a news conference to explain how the department handled the encounter with Caballero.

"Our deputies are not permitted to arrest or detain someone based on a hunch or based on what someone else is saying," Orange County Sheriff John Mina said. "Instead, they must establish facts to justify such a detention."

Mina said sadly, detaining Caballero at 4:30 a.m. would not have changed the fact that he left her body at Tymber Skan apartments between 8-9 p.m. the night before. 

He further explained that what took place at Tymber Skan apartments was a full eight hours before the sheriff's office was called to check on the well-being of Marcano.

After Marcano was reported missing, Caballero was named a person of interest in her disappearance. The following Monday, he was found dead in his own apartment by apparent suicide.

Mina held a news conference last week where he confirmed that Caballero had demonstrated a romantic interest in Marcano who repeatedly rejected him. 

After investigating further, authorities say they learned that Caballero used a maintenance-issued master key fob to enter Marcano's apartment Friday at about 4:30 p.m. At that time, Marcano had about 30 minutes left of her working shift at the apartment complex, Mina said.

The sheriff later said phone records showed Caballero was in or near the condo complex between 8-9 p.m. on the Friday Marcano was reported missing.

On Monday, Oct. 5, a medical examiner confirmed that the body found over the weekend in a wooded area in Central Florida was Miya Marcano. They did not detail how she died.

New details surfaced reporting that Marcano was found bound with black duct tape around her wrists and feet. Her mouth was also duct-taped shut. 

The statement released by the family's lawyer makes several other claims, including that a key fob dropped out of Caballero’s lap as he got out of the car early Saturday morning and that they saw Marcano's blanket in Caballero's car.

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