Family of slain Miya Marcano files lawsuit against apartment complex

The prime suspect in her death, Armando Manuel Caballero, committed suicide.

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The family of Miya Marcano is taking legal action against the apartment complex in Orlando, Fla. where the 19-year-old lived before she was believed to be killed by a maintenance worker and dumped in a wooded area. 

The college student went missing on Sept. 24. Her body was found on Oct. 2 near the apartment complex where she lived. According to reports, her hands and feet were bound and her mouth was covered in tape, though she was not sexually assaulted.

The prime suspect in her death, Armando Manuel Caballero, 27, was a maintenance worker at the Arden Villas apartments where the victim lived and worked. He reportedly had access to Marcano’s apartment and used his maintenance-issued master key fob to enter her unit on the day she went missing.

According to authorities, Marcano rebuffed multiple advances from Caballero and her roommates confirmed that he’d been stalking her, according to The Daily Beast. After she went missing, family members confronted Caballero about the text messages he’d been sending her.

Orange County Sheriff John Mina previously said investigators “believe pretty conclusively that Armando Caballero is responsible” for Marcano’s death. Caballero took his own life after Marcano’s disappearance.

Miya Marcano
Miya Mercanto (Photo: Screengrab/FBI)

“Arden Villas gave Armando Caballero the unfettered access he needed to kill Miya. They need to be held accountable for their negligence,” family attorney Daryl K. Washington said Tuesday in a news release.

“Marcano expressed her concerns to employees of the Arden Villas as well as to her parents who were concerned that … the manager of the Arden Villas, was not taking the safety concerns of the employees and tenants, very seriously,” the lawsuit says, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

Mina previously noted that cell phone records revealed Caballero was in or near the dilapidated Tymber Skan Apartments between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. on the evening of Sept. 24 — the night Marcano was reported missing. Her body was found in that area over a week later. 

“The family had hoped to hear from the management of the Arden Villas and expected for them to show more compassion towards their family, especially since Miya was an employee, but unfortunately it never happened,” Washington said. “No human being should ever deal with the treatment experienced by Miya and her family.”

The lawsuit names Caballero’s estate as a defendant, according to the report.

The family’s lawsuit, filed Monday, alleges negligence by Arden Villas Apartments LLC, and The Preiss Company, which operates and manages the complex where the victim lived and worked, CNN reported. 

“Defendant … should have known, that prior to [Sept. 24, 2021], Armando Caballero posed a heightened risk,” the lawsuit says. “… The Defendant failed to warn its residents and/or invitees, including but not limited to Marcano, deceased, of the existence of said dangerous conditions.”

According to Washington, the family is hoping the lawsuit will answer “numerous questions and hold those responsible for the disappearance and death of Miya fully responsible.”

The lawsuit seeks monetary damages and a trial by jury, according to the filing.

“They do not want Miya’s death [to] be in vain,” Washington said to The Daily Beast. “They want changes in the way apartment complexes provide access to tenants’ apartments, making sure there are stronger laws, making sure there are mandatory background checks, make sure there are mandatory disclosures that are given to tenants so that they can know whether people are going to have access to their apartments.”

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