A body believed to be missing 19-year-old college student Miya Marcano was found near an Orlando, Florida, apartment complex Saturday morning, authorities said.
Authorities are waiting for an official identification to be made by the medical examiner, but noted Marcano’s purse was found near the body.
The body was discovered at 10:45 a.m. during a search near the Tymber Skan on the Lake Condominiums, Orange County Sheriff John Mina said in a news conference.
The sheriff said they could not yet determine the cause of death.
“Everyone wanted this outcome to be different,” said Mina, whose department searched for Marcano for a week.
Mina said there are no suspects in the case other than Armand Manuel Caballero, whose cellphone data led cops to Marcano’s body. Caballero was found dead of an apparent suicide in his own apartment elsewhere in Orlando on Monday.
“We believe pretty conclusively that Armando Caballero is responsible for this crime, and we are not looking for any other person or persons in this case,” the sheriff said.
Marcano had turned down multiple advances by Caballero, a maintenance worker at the Arden Villas apartment complex where she lived and worked. The Valencia College student was reported missing Sept. 24 after she didn’t show up for a late-night flight to Fort Lauderdale, where her parents live.
Investigators soon learned that Caballero had used a master key to get into Marcano’s apartment about a half-hour before she was last seen finishing work at the complex’s onsite leasing office.
There were signs of a struggle in her bedroom, including blood on her pillow, family members said. Caballero was later caught on surveillance video from the day she went missing carrying gloves, a blanket and a bag.
Mina said Caballero’s cellphone data led them to the body, but only after leading them in the wrong direction first.
The data showed that Caballero drove around three counties in the hours after Marcano went missing. From 3 a.m. to 4 a.m. on Sept. 25, he was near a swampy area of New Smyrna Beach, about 60 miles northeast of Orlando. Cops searched that area extensively Friday but came up with nothing.
“I do think he was trying to throw authorities off the trail by going all over the place,” Mina aid. “Maybe in an effort to possibly get away with this, before he took his own life.”
The data also showed that Caballero spent about 20 minutes that evening at the Tymber Scan condos, where he once lived, Mina said. Cops found her body in a wooded area nearby on Saturday.
Mina said they will continue to search for two cellphones and a set of keys related to the case, but he believes they will be able to reconstruct the rest of Caballero’s movements. “We’ll be able to piece together exactly what happened,” he said.
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