Miya Marcano’s Family Confronted Her Suspected Killer in Front of a Cop. He Still Wasn’t Arrested.

Armando Manuel Caballero, a maintenance worker at her apartment complex, sent “obsessive texts” to her, according to her family.
October 7, 2021, 9:15pm
In this file photo, Sheriff John W. Mina shows photos of Armando Manuel Caballero during a press conference on the case of missing 19-year-old Miya Marcano at the Orange County Sheriffâs Office Central Operations, on Sept. 27, 2021.
In this file photo, Sheriff John W. Mina shows photos of Armando Manuel Caballero during a press conference on the case of missing 19-year-old Miya Marcano at the Orange County Sheriffâs Office Central Operations, on Sept. 27, 2021. (Ricardo Ramirez Buxeda/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

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Miya Marcano’s family confronted the maintenance man suspected of killing her in front of a sheriff’s deputy just hours after she disappeared last month, new video shows. They even called out his “obsessive texts.”

Yet Armando Caballero, who had shown a romantic interest in Marcano despite her repeatedly rebuffing him, left the scene without much hassle.

The Orange County deputies never got another chance to arrest Caballero. The 27-year-old, who was employed at the same apartment complex where Marcano lived and worked, was found dead of an apparent suicide a few days later. Marcano’s body was then discovered this past weekend, bound and duct-taped in a wooded area around a different Orlando apartment building.

Now, the family wants answers. Their attorney, Daryl K. Washington, accused the Orange County Sheriff’s Office of dropping the ball in a press conference Wednesday and said deputies had enough information to detain Caballero while he was still alive.

“This was not taken serious at all,” Washington said.

He accused one deputy of describing Marcano’s case as “not a priority to us” and said the family essentially had to “conduct their own investigation, because no one would listen to them.”

On Sept. 24, Marcano’s family asked the local sheriff’s office to check on her after she missed a flight out of Orlando that evening, a spokesperson for Washington’s office said in a statement to the Orlando Sentinel. A sheriff’s deputy went to her apartment complex as requested, and she was described as missing in a law enforcement database at 1:36 a.m. Sept. 25, according to Spectrum News 13 in Central Florida.

By 3 a.m., Marcano’s worried family had gone to her apartment complex. At some point, a security guard tried to take fingerprints from Marcano’s window, according to the Sentinel, while the family searched her unit. They discovered a box cutter that wasn’t hers under a rug.

The security guard later offered those possible fingerprints to a sheriff’s deputy at the scene, who allegedly wouldn’t take them, according to the Sentinel.

“When this security guard did the things that these sheriff’s deputies should be doing, they simply laughed at him,” Washington said during his press conference Wednesday.

Later that morning, after Caballero showed up at the apartment complex despite not being scheduled for work, the family spoke to him themselves.

“As of right now, you have sent obsessive texts to Miya,” a woman can be heard saying in a 3-minute video released by the family. “We have all seen the texts. You talked about sending her your life savings. You CashApped her money. And you claim that you weren’t in touch.”

“I never said that,” Caballero responded while standing near the deputy.

“There’s evidence of obsession,” the woman said. “You’re fascinated with Miya.”

At one point, Caballero told the family: “If I was guilty, why would I be here?”

The family also saw Marcano’s blanket in his car, according to the statement from Washington’s office, which was seen by the Sentinel, as well as a key fob. (Investigators believed that Caballero used a master key to enter her apartment without permission.) A video obtained by local media last week appeared to show Caballero taking a blanket out of the backseat of a silver car the same day.

In a press conference Wednesday, Orange County Sheriff John Mina defended his office and said that by the time Marcano’s family confronted Caballero, they had no basis to arrest or detain him.

“Our deputies are not permitted to arrest or detain someone based on a hunch or based on what someone else is saying,” Mina said. “Instead, they must establish facts to justify such a detention.”

Mina also noted that by the time the video was taken, Marcano’s body had already been left at a different apartment complex. Cell phone data placed Caballero at or near that scene—the Tymber Skan apartments—about an hour before Marcano’s parents reported their concerns to law enforcement, according to the Sentinel.

“I understand this family has been through unimaginable pain and loss, and we can’t begin to express the sorrow that we feel for Miya’s family and loved ones,” Mina said.Miya Marcano’s family confronted the maintenance man suspected of killing her in front of a sheriff’s deputy just hours after she disappeared last month, new video shows. They even called out his “obsessive texts.”

Yet Armando Caballero, who had shown a romantic interest in Marcano despite her repeatedly rebuffing him, left the scene without much hassle.

The Orange County deputies never got another chance to arrest Caballero. The 27-year-old, who was employed at the same apartment complex where Marcano lived and worked, was found dead of an apparent suicide a few days later. Marcano’s body was then discovered this past weekend, bound and duct-taped in a wooded area around a different Orlando apartment building.

Now, the family wants answers. Their attorney, Daryl K. Washington, accused the Orange County Sheriff’s Office of dropping the ball in a press conference Wednesday and said deputies had enough information to detain Caballero while he was still alive.

“This was not taken serious at all,” Washington said.

He accused one deputy of describing Marcano’s case as “not a priority to us” and said the family essentially had to “conduct their own investigation, because no one would listen to them.”

On Sept. 24, Marcano’s family asked the local sheriff’s office to check on her after she missed a flight out of Orlando that evening, a spokesperson for Washington’s office said in a statement to the Orlando Sentinel. A sheriff’s deputy went to her apartment complex as requested, and she was described as missing in a law enforcement database at 1:36 a.m. Sept. 25, according to Spectrum News 13 in Central Florida.

By 3 a.m., Marcano’s worried family had gone to her apartment complex. At some point, a security guard tried to take fingerprints from Marcano’s window, according to the Sentinel, while the family searched her unit. They discovered a box cutter that wasn’t hers under a rug.

The security guard later offered those possible fingerprints to a sheriff’s deputy at the scene, who allegedly wouldn’t take them, according to the Sentinel.

“When this security guard did the things that these sheriff’s deputies should be doing, they simply laughed at him,” Washington said during his press conference Wednesday.

Later that morning, after Caballero showed up at the apartment complex despite not being scheduled for work, the family spoke to him themselves.

“As of right now, you have sent obsessive texts to Miya,” a woman can be heard saying in a 3-minute video released by the family. “We have all seen the texts. You talked about sending her your life savings. You CashApped her money. And you claim that you weren’t in touch.”

“I never said that,” Caballero responded while standing near the deputy.

“There’s evidence of obsession,” the woman said. “You’re fascinated with Miya.”

At one point, Caballero told the family: “If I was guilty, why would I be here?”

The family also saw Marcano’s blanket in his car, according to the statement from Washington’s office, which was seen by the Sentinel, as well as a key fob. (Investigators believed that Caballero used a master key to enter her apartment without permission.) A video obtained by local media last week appeared to show Caballero taking a blanket out of the backseat of a silver car the same day.

In a press conference Wednesday, Orange County Sheriff John Mina defended his office and said that by the time Marcano’s family confronted Caballero, they had no basis to arrest or detain him.

“Our deputies are not permitted to arrest or detain someone based on a hunch or based on what someone else is saying,” Mina said. “Instead, they must establish facts to justify such a detention.”

Mina also noted that by the time the video was taken, Marcano’s body had already been left at a different apartment complex. Cellphone data placed Caballero at or near that scene—the Tymber Skan apartments—about an hour before Marcano’s parents reported their concerns to law enforcement, according to the Sentinel.

“I understand this family has been through unimaginable pain and loss, and we can’t begin to express the sorrow that we feel for Miya’s family and loved ones,” Mina said.