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Search for Florida teen Miya Marcano continues around apartment complex

College student from Pembroke Pines hasn’t been seen since Friday

Detectives are again focused on the Arden Villa apartments, with dogs and search crews from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office spending hours in the Central Florida complex Wednesday as they look for missing teenager Miya Marcano.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Detectives are again focused on the Arden Villa apartments, with dogs and search crews from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office spending hours in the Central Florida complex Wednesday as they look for missing teenager Miya Marcano.

Marcano, a 19-year-old graduate of Flanagan High in Pembroke Pines, is a student at Orlando’s Valencia College. She went missing Friday, a day she was supposed to board a flight back to Fort Lauderdale.

A person of interest in her disappearance, Armando Cabellero, worked at the Arden Villa apartments where Marcano lived. Police say he used a master key to get into her apartment before she disappeared.

Cabellero was found dead by apparent suicide Monday in a Seminole County complex.

Investigators said Caballero made romantic advances toward Marcano that were repeatedly denied.

Local 10 News obtained video that appears to show Cabellero. Family of Marcano say the pink blanket he is holding in that video belongs to Miya.

When family members got to Marcano’s apartment on Saturday morning, they found a broken necklace on her floor, her bedroom in disarray and blood on a pillow. Marcano’s cousin told reporters Tuesday that Marcano was meticulously clean and always wore that necklace.

Miya Marcano of Pembroke Pines, a student at Valencia College in Orlando, hasn't been seen since Friday. Investigators on Wednesday focused on the Arden Villa apartment complex where she lived in Central Florida.

Family members resumed their search Wednesday around Central Florida.

“We are jumping into cars. We are running out there and nothing is being solved,” aunt Semone Westmaas said.

A deputy remained parked outside of Marcano’s apartment on Wednesday, which sits off busy University Boulevard near the University of Central Florida but is surrounded by a heavily wooded area.

A resident says the key fobs that grant access at the Arden Villa apartments are new.

“It was just creepy and the fact that maintenance people have access to our apartments and we just got these key fobs last month, and so if these key fobs weren’t introduced last month, no one would have known who went into her apartment,” the resident named Atiyah said.

She added she no longer feels safe at the apartments.

Another resident said she had an unsettling encounter with Cabellero.

“I was not given enough time to put on a top and get to the door when he was already on the way in with his key fob,” Mia Ross said.

Despite multiple residents telling Local 10 News they reported Caballero to management, a spokesperson for Arden Villas said they have no record of complaints, adding Caballero passed a national background check.

But a search under Polk County Sheriff’s record show Caballero has been charged in the past for firing a weapon at a school campus, and another charge for possession or discharge of a destructive device.

The complex said in a statement Tuesday that they are ramping up security.

Marcano’s family held a vigil Tuesday night and is holding onto hope of finding Miya.

For days, the family has organized searches. Many people who don’t know the family have been compelled to help.

“She has been on my mind heavy. I can barely sleep,” volunteer Melony Wyllie said. “Think about her constantly. I’m checking social media all the time to see if she’s been found safely.”

The family is asking for more help as they look for Marcano. The group searching for her has started an Instagram account that you can follow at @BringMiyaHome


About the Authors:

Bridgette Matter joined the Local 10 News team as a reporter in July 2021. Before moving to South Florida, she began her career in South Bend, Indiana and spent six years in Jacksonville as a reporter and weekend anchor.

Christian De La Rosa joined Local 10 News in April 2017 after spending time as a reporter and anchor in Atlanta, San Diego, Orlando and Panama City Beach.