ORLANDO (CBSMiami) — The FBI is now assisting local agencies in the search for missing 19-year-old Miya Marcano, according to the Orange County sheriff, as worried family members and friends plan to hold another vigil outside of her apartment complex on Friday evening.
Family and friends also passed out flyers in New Smyrna Beach, about 50 miles away, on Thursday which is where law enforcement will continue its search on Friday.
“Not including what’s happening today and right now, our emergency response team and others have conducted nearly 30 searches, since Miya has been missing, that spans three different counties and has included about 175 personnel,” said Sheriff John Mina during a news briefing Thursday afternoon along with the FBI, the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement which are also offering resources in the investigation.
The investigation has led crews to search Orange, Seminole and Volusia counties, Mina said. Information and tips are being used to target specific areas in the continued search. He said FDLE provided a canine trained in locating electronics, specifically cell phones. Mina said he would not go into specifics on the role the FBI is playing in the investigation but said they are assisting “in the manner of technology.”
On Thursday morning, deputies were ramping up search efforts at the Arden Villas Apartments complex. Residents said they received notice officers would be entering occupied garages and storage units as part of the ongoing investigation.
Mina encouraged residents to think back to last week if they saw anything suspicious and to keep an eye out this upcoming weekend.
“We’re coming up on the weekend now. We know that many people will be out and about in outdoor areas, waterways, we’re asking them to keep their eyes open and call us if they see anything,” Mina said.
Marcano, a 19-year-old Valencia College student, vanished Friday September 24 just before she was supposed to fly to Fort Lauderdale to visit her family, authorities said.
Investigators announced Monday that a person of interest in her disappearance, Armando Manuel Caballero, had been found dead at an apartment complex in Seminole County from an apparent suicide. Mina said Caballero was a maintenance worker at Arden Villas since June and had accessed Marcano’s apartment using a master key.
“Our civilian analysts are working on all manner of digital resources and social media in their quest to find Miya and our forensics detectives are processing all the evidence that we have collected in this case. So, we’ve issued search warrants, investigative subpoenas, tracking orders for cell phones,” he said.
The sheriff also said they believed Caballero is responsible, though “we don’t know all the circumstances involved in what happened there.” He also mentioned the sheriff’s office was given video that led to a search warrant being issued for Caballero’s apartment and car “in less than 24 hours of us responding to the scene.”
Meantime, her family is holding out hope that she will be found alive and well.
“We just want her to come home, just come home,” sobbed her aunt Marie Sue. “Just come home Miya, just come home,” she repeated.
Marcano grew up in Pembroke Pines and attended Flanagan High School where dozens who know her, including those who went to school with her, came to show support at a vigil on Thursday night.
Anyone with information on Marcano’s disappearance is asked to call 407-836-4357 or 911.