Miya’s Law named for murdered South Florida native passes in Florida Senate

Proposed ‘Miya’s Law’ aimed at increasing physical safety for renters

A bill named for a 19-year-old South Florida native and a college student in Orlando passed without a nay in the Florida Senate Friday.

SB 898/HB 577, Miya’s Law, passed the State House unanimously on Thursday and, now with support from the Senate, it will be sent to Governor Ron DeSantis for approval.

Miya Marcano, who graduated from Charles W. Flanagan High in Pembroke Pines, was attending Valencia College in Orlando when it is believed she was murdered by Armando Caballero. Caballero, 27, a maintenance worker at the Arden Villas apartment complex, had access to the apartment in which she lived.

Marcano also worked in the Arden Villas’ leasing office. She vanished on Sept. 24 and turned up dead on Oct. 2 of “homicide by undetermined means,” according to a report from the medical examiner’s office in Orlando.

Police believe that despite having a criminal record, Caballero was able to get a master key to gain access to Marcano’s apartment, where he waited for her to come home. They were unable to interrogate him, however. Deputies found him dead on Sept. 27 and determined he died by suicide.

Representative Robin Bartleman (D-Weston) and Senator Linda Stewart (D-Orlando) co-sponsored the bill.

Miya’s Law requires landlords to conduct national background screenings, including a criminal history record and sexual offender registries on employees, and authorizes landlords to disqualify applicants who exhibit a history of violent criminal offenses.

Miya Marcano Law (Miya Marcano Law)

According to its sponsors, the bill strengthens requirements regarding access to individual units, increasing the required notice to 24 hours and requiring apartments to establish policies for the issuance and return of all keys.

The legislation also requires the maintenance of a key log to ensure that access is only given to authorized individuals at authorized times.

Marcano’s loved ones also co-founded the Miya Marcano Foundation to support families of missing persons and to advocate for students’ safety.

About the Author:

Michelle F. Solomon is the podcast producer/reporter/host of Local 10's original, true-crime podcast The Florida Files and a digital journalist for Local 10.com.