The 19-year-old college student Miya Marcano, who was found dead in the woods near an Orlando apartment complex, died of “homicide by undetermined means,” according to an autopsy report from the Orange County Medical Examiner’s Office.
A sophomore at Valencia College, Miya was last seen at around 5 p.m. on Sept. 24 at the Arden Villas Apartments in Orlando, where she lived and worked in the leasing office.
Authorities found her remains on Oct. 2 while searching an area near the Tymber Skan on the Lake Condominiums, an apartment complex located almost 18 miles west of Marcano’s home.
The report states that Marcano’s body was found “nearly completely skeletonized” with black duct tape around her neck, ankles, and wrists, all of which were bound behind her back.
Orange County Chief Medical Examiner Joshua D. Stephany reported that there was “no identifiable evidence of trauma” due to the advanced decomposition.
“In my opinion, the manner in which she was found, with multiple restraints and her disposition in an abandoned area of an apartment complex, indicates some type of assault, but because of the lack of any identifiable soft tissue injuries due to advanced decomposition, the cause of death is a homicide by undetermined means,” Stephany wrote in the autopsy report.
Detectives were led to the apartment complex by the phone records of the now-deceased prime suspect Armando Caballero, who was found dead by suicide on Sept. 27. According to Records showed that Caballero, 27, was in the area for around 20 minutes between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. on the day Marcano disappeared.
Investigators believe Caballero, who worked maintenance at the complex where Marcano lived, had expressed a romantic interest in the college student before she disappeared but was repeatedly rejected.
Prior to his death, Caballero told detectives that he last saw Marcano at work around 3 p.m. on Sept. 24, according to Orange County Sheriff John Mina. Authorities believe Caballero was able to sneak into Marcano’s apartment using a maintenance-issued master key fob before she got off work.
“There is no doubt he was waiting for her knowing she was going to be coming home from work,” said Mina at a press conference.
Marcano’s family has since started the Miya Marcano Foundation, which was created to help support families of missing persons as well as educate communities on ways to protect one another.
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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