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'Pain I don't know how to get rid of,' Miya Marcano's anguished grandmother says

"When I saw the news and they said where she was, the saddest part was seeing where they left her — in a dumpster," the Latina college student's aunt said.
Image: Marlon Marcano
Members of Miya Marcano's family including her father, Marlon Marcano, center left, host a candlelight vigil at Arden Villas, on Oct. 1, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. Chasity Maynard / Orlando Sentinel via AP

Miya Marcano's family members say it's difficult to move on after they found out over the weekend that a body authorities believed is that of the 19-year-old Valencia College student was found in a wooded area in Orlando, Florida.

Marcano had been missing since Sept. 24 when she was last seen at the Arden Villas apartment complex in Orlando, where she lived.

“It’s a pain in the chest and in the stomach that we have. I don’t know how, as a family, we’re going to go on with this pain,” Marcano’s aunt, Gabriela Sánchez, said in a television interview with Noticias Telemundo.

Miya Marcano.Orange County Sheriff's Office, Florida

An emergency response team was searching in an area near the Tymber Skan apartments in Orlando when they found a body believed to be that of the student; officials are waiting for a positive identification from the medical examiner's office. A cause of death has not yet been identified.

“When I saw the news and they said where she was, the saddest part was seeing where they left her — in a dumpster. And Miya was not garbage,” Sánchez said. “I never thought this could happen to our family, but I want to let people know that this could happen to anyone. Please take care of your girls.”

Armando Caballero, who authorities believe is responsible for the teenager's death, died of an apparent suicide last week. He once lived in the apartment complex near the wooded area where she was found. Caballero was a maintenance worker at the Arden Villas apartment complex where Marcano lived. Officials said a maintenance-issued master key fob was used to enter her apartment around 4:30 p.m. Sept 24, the day she went missing.

“We believe pretty conclusively that Armando Caballero is responsible for this crime and there is not any other person or persons that we are looking for in this case,” Sheriff John Mina said at a news conference Saturday.

Caballero had shown an interest in Marcano, according to authorities, but she repeatedly rebuffed his romantic advances.

The family and its attorney believe the management company of the apartment complex put her in danger and said Marcano’s death could have been prevented with simple measures. They said it was negligent to allow the suspect to work there as a maintenance person.

“We didn’t find her alive but we found her and we can have an end,” Violet Delville, Marcano’s grandmother, said. “I love you Miya, I love you a lot. I have pain that I don’t know how to get rid of.”

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