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Murdered College Student Miya Marcano Remembered As 'Vibrant Butterfly' As Thousands Attend Funeral

Miya Marcano was found dead in Orlando in early October, several days after the person of interest in her disappearance was found dead of an apparent suicide.

By Gina Tron
Miya Marcano Ap

Murdered college student Miya Marcano was remembered as a “vibrant butterfly” as she was laid to rest in Florida this week.

“My niece did not deserve this, nor does any woman for that matter,” her uncle Marc Marcano said at Cooper City Church of God in Cooper City, which was packed with more than 2,000 mourners, on Thursday, the New York Post reports.

The 19-year-old’s body was discovered on Oct. 2 in a wooded area of Orlando. She had been bound with duct tape, which was also found across her mouth, the Orlando Sentinel reported. She was last seen alive on Sept. 24 at the Arden Villas Luxury Apartments in Orlando where she lived and worked in the leasing office. She was supposed to fly to Fort Lauderdale that night to visit family, but never showed up.

Armando Caballero, a maintenance worker at the apartment building and a person of interest in her disappearance was found dead of an apparent suicide on Sept. 27. Marcano’s family has called him a stalker who was obsessed with the teen.

Marcano's casket was royal blue, her favorite color. The church was also decorated in royal blue, a color that many mourners sported, WESH reports. A crown was placed atop her coffin, which was painted with a portrait of her.

“We ask and respectfully expect that the media keep Miya’s name and story out there,” Marc Marcano told those who came to pay their respects. “Because although we sympathize with the Petito family, Miya’s story is no different and deserves the same attention.”

The disappearance and murder of Gabby Petito, 22, has been dominating the news cycle since early September. 

Marcano was a student at Valencia College when she was killed. Her cousin Caili Sue recalled her "magnetic energy" on Thursday during the eulogy. She called her a "vibrant butterfly."

"She was always a loving, kind-hearted person," Marcano's grandmother Violet Delville said at the funeral, according to WESH. "She always wanted to help just like how her foundation is going to do the same."

The Miya Marcano Memorial Foundation has been set up to help families of missing persons.