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Miya Marcano’s Autopsy Classified Death As ‘Homicide By Undetermined Means’
“The family is still unable to have any type of closure,” Daryl Washington, an attorney for Marcano’s family, told Oxygen.com.
The family of a slain Florida college student whose body was found wrapped in duct tape in September is demanding answers following a newly released autopsy report.
Miya Marcano’s death was ruled a “homicide by undetermined means,” earlier this month, according to the Orange County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Officials said they could find no “identifiable evidence of trauma” due to the advanced stage of composition of the 19-year-old’s remains.
“In my opinion, the manner in which she was found, with multiple restraints and her disposition in an abandoned area of an apartment complex, indicates some type of assault, but because of the lack of any identifiable soft tissue injuries due to advanced decomposition, the cause of death is a homicide by undetermined means,” Florida Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Joshua D. Stephany wrote in the autopsy report, which Oxygen.com obtained.
Marcano vanished on Sept. 24 from Arden Villas Apartment complex in Orlando where she lived and worked. Her remains, which medical examiners described as “nearly completely skeletonized,” were recovered from behind a deserted apartment building on Oct 2. Her wrists and ankles were bound with black duct tape, which was also wrapped around her neck.
Armando Manuel Caballero, the primary suspect in Marcano’s disappearance and death, was found dead at an apartment complex in Seminole County on Sept. 27. The 27-year-old, who was employed as a maintenance worker at Marcano’s apartment, died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, officials said.
According to Daryl Washington, a lawyer for Marcano’s family, the newly released autopsy report only raises more questions about Marcano’s death.
“Obviously, it’s been very difficult for the family because the family is still unable to have any type of closure,” Daryl Washington, an attorney for Marcano’s family, told Oxygen.com on Tuesday. “There’s still so many unanswered questions."
For months, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office hypothesized Marcano was killed by Caballero in her apartment building, an assertion Marcano’s family is at odds with.
“The one thing that we know now with the release of this autopsy report is clearly what Sheriff [John] Mina has stated over and over — that Miya was likely killed in the apartment,” Washington added. “We do know now that that’s pretty speculative…the Orange County Sheriff and Arden Villas Apartment Complex, had they taken more diligent measures, perhaps Miya could have been found much sooner.”
The Marcano family was notably unnerved by new graphic details contained in the latest autopsy report, particularly surrounding the duct tape found on the college students remains.
“They’re disturbed with the details of the autopsy report, just learning more details about how Miya was actually found,” he explained. “That was something that was newly discovered. It would have been good for the family to know this type of stuff before it was released to the public.
"There’s just so many questions as to why would you have tape around somebody’s mouth, neck, wrist, ankles, if they’re already dead," he added. "What would be the necessity of doing that? That’s what led us to believe that Miya may have left that apartment alive.”
Marcano attended Valencia College in Orlando, according to family members, who described her as a "vibrant butterfly" during the young woman's eulogy in October.
According to her family, Caballero had previously made romantic advances towards the 19-year-old, but she turned him down.
In October, Marcano’s family publicly released a video of Caballero, who they’d confronted a day after the Florida college student was reported missing this fall. In the short recording, Caballero insisted he had nothing to do with Marcano’s disappearance, while feigning concern for her.
“There’s evidence of obsession,” Marcano’s aunt told Caballero in the clip, according to a copy of the video, which Oxygen.com obtained. “You’re fascinated with Miya.”
Marcano’s family has filed a wrongful death civil lawsuit against Arden Villas Apartment Complex for alleged security oversights which endangered the 19-year-old and obscured the swift investigation into her murder.
“They just don’t want any other family to have to go through this,” Washington said.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office declined to comment on the case’s autopsy results when contacted by Oxygen.com on Tuesday.