Miya Marcano would have been leaving Orlando for South Florida this week to participate in Miami Broward Carnival, something she's done since she was little.
Marcano, 19, has participated in the carnival with her family year after year — she’s even held the title of queen — and her father, a well-known Miami DJ, plays during the three-day event.
In light of the tragic events, the chair of the festival says this year's event will be sure to honor the young woman's life.
"It’s already a sad moment, but at the same time, we will be celebrating her life, her beautiful life," said Joan Hinkson Justin, the chair of this year's Carnival.
The Caribbean celebration is set to begin this Friday and continue through Sunday with plans to honor Marcano's life throughout the 2-mile long parade route.
"I think she’s made a mark all over the world, and everyone coming to the event knows about Miya and will be looking forward to seeing the tribute we have planned for her," Justin said.
Justin has known Marcano for years. The events will begin with a moment of silence, along with a special tribute.
"Just a wonderful spirit. High energy. Beautiful, just a beautiful young lady, friendly, family-oriented," Justin recalled.
On Tuesday, officials confirmed the body found behind an Orlando apartment complex was Marcano. On top of the grief, the family has now hired civil rights attorney Daryl Washington to help serve justice.
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