ORLANDO, FLA. (WSVN) - The South Florida family of Miya Marcano continues to search for the missing teenager five days after she was last seen at her Orlando apartment complex.
Semone Westmaas, Marcano’s aunt, said Wednesday the search has been frustrating, as they are receiving a lot of tips from the public, but they have not panned out. However, she added, the family is relying on tips and volunteers to find Marcano.
“This is not an ordinary missing case,” Westmaas said. “Miya was kidnapped. Miya was kidnapped out of her room in Arden Villas through her bedroom window.”
Sheriff’s deputies gathered Wednesday morning to plan their search strategy.
The Pembroke Pines teenager was last seen at the Arden Villas apartment complex where she lives and works. She has not been seen or heard from since Friday.
“She’s just been on my mind all the time,” said volunteer Melonie Willey, who took the day off work to aid in the search. “I can barely sleep. I’m checking Facebook constantly to see if they find her. I’m from the Virgin Islands, so I know her family is from the islands, as well, so being from the Virgin Islands, we all look out for one another.”
According to her family, Marcano was supposed to fly into Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Friday. When she did not show, the family hopped on a flight to Orlando.
When they arrived at her apartment on Saturday, they said it had been trashed, and they had found blood on a pillow.
“Just her things in her room were kind of scattered,” cousin Caili Sue said. “Her jewelry was on the ground.”
On Monday, 27-year-old Armando Caballero, a maintenance man at Marcano’s complex, was found dead in a garage at another complex 35 minutes away.
According to investigators, Caballero harassed Marcano, wanting a relationship with her. They also considered him a person of interest after investigators discovered he used a master key to get into Marcano’s apartment around the time she disappeared.
“That he was texting her excessively and she had asked him to stop,” Sue said.
Video obtained by 7News showed a man fitting Caballero’s description getting out of a car — whose plates match Caballero’s — carrying gloves and a blanket and entering a nearby building. Marcano’s family said the man in the video was carrying her blanket.
“Think of yourself if you were in our shoes,” Westmaas said. “If you saw that video and you saw Miya’s blanket, how would you react?”
At a Tuesday night vigil, the strain of the waiting and hoping became increasingly difficult for the family to endure.
Westmaas added the family wants the FBI involved in the search. She said they are searching areas over and over and feel like they are running in circles.
With Marcano’s fate still unknown, female students who live at the Arden Villas complex said they are still frightened.
“I personally reported him and another employee for taking pictures of girls at the pool,” resident Atiyah said.
“Everything that we’ve been seeing here just shows we’re truly not safe here,” another resident said.
On Tuesday, Arden Villas announced they will be enhancing their security protocols as well as their sexual harassment policy. Officials also said Marcano did not lodge any complaints against Caballero who, they said, underwent a background check.
A vigil was planned to be held for Marcano Wednesday night, but it was cancelled. However, family and friends still left candles and signs bearing words of support.
The family will continue their search for the 19-year-old Thursday morning.
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