Miya Marcano

‘Don't Give Up Hope': Massive Search Continues for Young Woman Missing in Orlando

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

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What to Know

  • A massive search was still underway Tuesday for a young woman who vanished in Orlando on Friday
  • Miya Marcano had been last seen at the apartment complex where she lived and worked
  • A maintenance worker at the complex who was a person of interest in Marcano's disappearance was found dead on Monday from an apparent suicide

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.

Family members and authorities continued their massive search Tuesday for Miya Marcano, who vanished in Orlando. NBC 6's Julie Leonardi reports

"I'm determined and I'm still very hopeful that we're going to find her," Sue said.

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.

"Oh my God. You are breaking my heart. My God, my king. I have no strength left. Bring her home, father. Bring her home dear Jesus,” one family member said during the vigil according to WESH-TV. “Whoever did this— whoever you are, we just want you to bring Miya home. You can drop her off on the side of the road. Just tell us where she is. We will come get her. Just bring her home. I don’t believe Miya’s dead."

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.

Caballero, who had been a person of interest in the case, had died from an apparent suicide at an apartment in nearby Seminole County, Mina said. The sheriff said Caballero had expressed a romantic interest in Marcano, but she had repeatedly rebuffed him.

Orange County Sheriff's Office
Armando Caballero

Caballero had a master key fob that could be used to enter apartments, and had used it to get into Marcano’s apartment about a half hour before she finished her shift in the leasing office on Friday afternoon, the last time she was seen, Mina said.

An arrest warrant had been issued for Caballero for burglary and authorities had been searching for him all weekend, Mina said.

"Miya is still missing, her disappearance is suspicious, and our detectives and the family members obviously suspect foul play," Mina said Monday. "We are still doing everything possible we can to find her."

Sue said family members were angry that Caballero had killed himself before he could possibly provide answers on Marcano's disappearance.

"I think it was a cowardly act," Sue said. "I was really angry especially because if he knew anything he took that information with him. He could have told us something, given us a lead."

On Tuesday, family members, friends and volunteers knocked on doors and handed out flyers as they searched for Marcano. Investigators also searched in the area near where Caballero was found dead.

Marcano's aunt, Semone Westmaas, said she had an encounter with Caballero on Saturday, before he had been named a person of interest.

"He said, 'are you looking for Miya?' I said 'who are you?' He said 'I’m the maintenance guy, I heard you were looking for me,'" Westmaas said.

Marcano, who had graduated from Flanagan High School in Pembroke Pines last year, had been scheduled to catch a flight to Fort Lauderdale later Friday, but never boarded the flight, her family said.

Sue said Marcano was always neat and tidy, but her apartment was found in disarray, with the bed unmade, blood on her pillow, and dirt on the carpet. She also said that a necklace that Marcano always wears was found broken.

"Miya is a fighter and we're going to fight for her until we find her," Sue said. "Just don't give up hope and continue to pray for us and pray for Miya and pray that she's safe and that's she's okay and that she's not scared and that she knows that we're looking for her."

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