PEMBROKE PINES, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida family is sharing their horror and heartbreak days after the search for 19-year-old Miya Marcano ended with the discovery of her body.
Marcano’s family is still in Orlando, where their attorney said the autopsy is taking place on Monday.
Meanwhile, a memorial has been set up for her at Charles W. Flanagan High School in Pembroke Pines, where the 19-year-old graduated months before she disappeared.
“It’s like everything starts to hit you all at once, the emotions start coming out, and we’re still just in shock,” said Caili Sue, Marcano’s cousin.
Marcano’s family is now waiting.
After seven days of searching and begging for information, loved ones learned that she would not be coming home.
Search crews discovered a body believed to be Marcano’s on Saturday morning.
“Everyone just seems kind of numb. Like, they’re just going through the motions of the day,” Sue said.
Marcano’s family has been in Orlando since she vanished from Arden Villas Apartments, Friday night.
Deputies have named the apartment’s maintenance man, Armando Caballero, as a prime suspect.
They said he used a master key to access her apartment shortly before her disappearance.
Caballero took his own life sometime that weekend, investigators said.
He had been questioned by deputies Friday night, but detectives didn’t know at the time that he had been in the apartment, and they let him go.
Family attorney Daryl Washington pinned the blame on the apartment complex.
“There’s no reason why, within two hours of Miya being reported as missing, that this apartment complex couldn’t have helped out with this situation by figuring out whether somebody had used a key FOB,” he said.
“We’re just working on hopefully seeing some permanent changes, not only for Arden Villas but for all apartment complexes,” Sue said. “We really want to ensure that people’s safety is put first.”
More than 18,000 people have already signed an online petition demanding increased safety measures at Arden Villas.
Until then, the family is working on bringing Marcano’s body back home.
On Monday, they went back to her apartment to retrieve her belongings.
“That was extremely difficult, very emotional for the family, because the last time they were at this apartment, they were actually unpacking her stuff, and everybody was just so very happy for this new beginning, new college beginning for Miya,” said Washington, “so, to be packing all her items without her being there was really difficult.”
No cause of death has been announced.
Marcano’s family said they’re still working on funeral arrangements. They also said they want to put together a foundation in her name, and one of the issues they may focus on is self-defense for young women.
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