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Miya Marcano’s Family Releases Video Of Their Confrontation With Her Late Suspected Killer
In the newly released recording, Armando Manuel Caballero claimed that he was concerned about his missing colleague, who at that point had already been killed.
Miya Marcano’s family has released a video this week of the moments that they confronted the prime suspect in the Florida teenage college student’s murder, which took place the day after she was reported missing in September.
In the video shot on Sept. 25, which was shared by the family's legal team, the 19-year-old's relatives get into a tense exchange with 27-year-old Armando Manuel Caballero, saying he has a fixation on the young woman who was at the time considered to be missing. The two were colleagues at the Arden Villas apartment complex; Marcano worked at the front desk at the complex and also lived in a unit there while attending college and Caballero was on the maintenance staff.
“There’s evidence of obsession,” Marcano’s aunt told Caballero in the video, according to a copy of the recording, which was obtained by Oxygen.com. “You’re fascinated with Miya.”
In the newly released recording, Caballero claimed to her that he was concerned about his missing colleague; at that point, police say she had already been killed.
“Until we figure out what’s going on, just don’t beat me up,” Caballero responded.
An Orange County Sheriff’s deputy, who was present on the scene at the time, ultimately permitted Caballero to leave the scene. The video clip, which runs just over two minutes, culminates with Caballero getting into his vehicle. The confrontation occurred a day after Marcano was reported missing.
Marcano was last seen alive around 5 p.m. on Sept. 24 while leaving her apartment for work. She had booked a flight to Fort Lauderdale for that evening but never boarded the airplane, authorities said. Investigators found blood and some of her personal belongings scattered about her bedroom when they did a welfare check after being contacted by her family.
Caballero, who was named as a person of interest in Marcano’s disappearance and death, was found dead on September 27, two days after the video was filmed, at an apartment complex in Seminole County. He died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to law enforcement. He'd been dead for a number of days when his body was discovered, police said.
Marcano’s remains were recovered on Saturday behind an abandoned apartment complex.
Authorities previously stated that Caballero had expressed a romantic interest in Marcano. When questioned, he’d told detectives he’d last seen Marcano roughly two hours before she vanished. Authorities also said that he broke into her apartment using a master key on the day she disappeared.
The Marcano family's confrontation with Caballero has now ignited a backlash against the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, which is under scrutiny for failing to arrest him at the scene.
"The recently released video shows the deputy politely allowing Caballero to get in his car and leave," Daryl Washington, an attorney representing the Marcona family said in a statement sent to Oxygen.com. "Caballero was within arm’s reach of the deputy. We hope that the Orange County Sheriff's Office will use this moment as an opportunity to learn from the mistakes that were made, as opposed to defending actions that are indefensible."
Sheriff John Mina directly responded to the recording by flatly stated authorities didn’t have the necessary probable cause for an arrest.
"At the time the video was taken, there was no basis for our deputies to detain or arrest Armando Caballero," Mina said at a press conference on Wednesday. "Our deputies are not permitted to arrest or detain someone based on a hunch or based on what someone else is saying. Instead, they must establish facts to justify such a detention."
Mina did vow to review his deputies' actions while speaking to the press.
"The person responsible for the death of Miya is Armando Caballero," Mina added. "And unfortunately she was dead before we ever received that call. But I do understand the family's concerns, and so we'll be looking into all that."
Mina appeared to further strain relations between law enforcement and the grieving Marcano family, whose lawyer blasted the sheriff's words as insensitive.
"It was shameful to say that no matter what they did or didn’t do, that Miya was dead anyway," Washington said. "That statement is the equivalent of saying 'prisons should not incarcerate murderers because the sentencing still won’t bring the dead back to life anyway.' This in no way excuses the deputies from doing a job they are paid to do."
Washington and others are also now petitioning the owners of the Arden Villas apartment complex to bolster security measures.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office declined to comment on the Marcona family's video or to speak on the case when contacted by Oxygen.com on Friday afternoon.