It’s Wednesday, September 29th - and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day.
No. 1 - Family members and authorities continued their massive search Tuesday for a young South Florida woman who vanished in Orlando, a day after officials said they found the body of the man who was the person of interest in her disappearance.
Miya Marcano, a 19-year-old Valencia College student, went missing on Friday and was last seen at the Orlando apartment complex where she lived and worked. Caili Sue, Marcano's cousin, told reporters Tuesday morning that family members were traveling from Broward County, Canada and other destinations to help in the search. As another day ended with no resolution, loved ones gathered at the Arden Villas for a candlelight vigil. During a prayer, Marcano's grandmother became so overwhelmed with emotion and fainted in the arms of Marcano's grandfather. On Monday, Orange County Sheriff John Mina said deputies had found the body of 27-year-old Armando Caballero, who had been a maintenance worker at Marcano's apartment complex.
No. 2 - An accused white supremacist who called for a race-based civil war online to thousands of his followers was sentenced Tuesday to nearly three and a half years in prison on multiple firearms offenses.
Paul Nicholas Miller, 33, sobbed in court as a judge sentenced him to 41 months in prison. His imprisonment will be followed by three years of supervised release for possessing a firearm as a convicted felon in 2018, possessing ammunition as a convicted felon in 2021, and possessing an unregistered short-barreled rifle in 2021, prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida said. Earlier this year, feds raided Miller's Fort Lauderdale home and discovered an unregistered short-barreled rifle and hundreds of rounds of ammunition inside.
No. 3 - A South Florida woman wasn't happy with the way things turned out with a man she met on a dating app, so she faked threatening text messages to numerous people to get a restraining order against him, prosecutors said.
Vanessa Restrepo, 25, faces a number of charges, including writing and sending threats to kill or injure, perjury, and aggravated stalking. In bond court Tuesday, prosecutors detailed how Restrepo allegedly crafted text messages to make it seem like she was being harassed and threatened after going on several dates with this man. Restrepo also allegedly sent her friend — who Restrepo was living with at a Coral Springs apartment — the ominous text messages. They both reported the messages to police and obtained a restraining order against the man from the dating app, prosecutors said.
No. 4 - Three years later, and there are still emergency dispatch issues in Broward County.
That topic dominated discussion Tuesday at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission meeting in Sunrise. The police response to the mass shooting was slower than it should have been, and the Commission told Broward County Administrator Bertha Henry there were several factors at play, and one of them has not been fixed. For example, if you call 911 on your cell phone in Parkland, the call goes to the Coral Springs Police Department, which then has to transfer the call to the Broward Sheriff’s Office, creating a delay. As Henry explained, the cities of Coral Springs, Coconut Creek, and Plantation are on a separate 911 dispatch system. To hear why that’s a problem for come on the commission, click here for the story from NBC 6 reporter Ari Odzer.
No. 5 - In Florida, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission gets at least 14,000 calls per year about gators. Usually licensed volunteers are dispatched to trap the dangerous reptiles.
NBC 6 met two of those volunteers who also happen to love wildlife and each other. Tucked away in a Sunrise neighborhood, there’s a sanctuary in the backyard of Gabby Scampone and Chris Gillette's home, which is also the home of Patuna the pig, who they found dumped on the side of the road. She's now 100 pounds. Birds and even turtles like Fern and Tortellini also share this cozy spot. Tortellini was found walking around Homestead. His girlfriend, Rigatoni, was too shy to go on camera. But each animal here has a unique story and name, all rescued and cared for by Gabby and Chris. To hear more, click here for the story from NBC 6 reporter Jamie Guirola.
No. 6 - On his 15th birthday, a South Florida teen was bitten by a shark and lived to tell the tale.
Lucas Cruz was celebrating his birthday by going lobster diving with his family and friends when he got attacked. "When I got bit I didn't nearly know the severity of it," Cruz recalled. Dr. Mark McKenney, Chief of Trauma at Kendall Regional Center, said the shark bite was so severe he didn't know if Cruz would survive. Quick thinking from the boat captain, who put on tourniquets on both of Cruz's legs, and from the medical team as he was airlifted to the trauma center. Click here for more on the incredible story of survival in a story from NBC 6 reporter Claudia Docampo you’ll see Only on 6.
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