MIAMI – Authorities say they have found the body of a missing Florida college student who went missing a week ago. A maintenance worker who unauthorizedly entered her apartment on the day of her disappearance and later killed herself is the prime suspect.
Orange County Sheriff John Mina said Saturday that officers found Mia Marcano’s body in a wooded area near an apartment building. The 19-year-old girl went missing the same day a maintenance worker wrongfully used the master key to enter her apartment, officials said. Her family reported her missing on September 24 after she missed a flight home to South Florida.
The sheriff previously said that Armando Caballero, a maintenance worker at the apartment complex where Marcano lived and worked, is considered the “prime suspect.” Caballero, 27, apparently killed himself; His body was found three days after Marcano was last seen.
Marcano had repeatedly “shocked” the romantic advances by Caballero. Detectives spoke to Caballero after the Valencia college student was reported missing, but there was no evidence of him being detained at the time. They obtained a warrant for his arrest after learning that he had entered her apartment before his disappearance. After that his body was found inside a garage.
Sheriff Mina said Caballero’s cellphone records led him to the apartment complex where Marcano was found and showed he had been there for about 20 minutes the night he was reported missing. At one time, Caballero also previously lived in that apartment complex.
“There is nothing on record that he ever returned there before killing himself,” he said, adding that the deputy was not looking for any other suspects.
Hundreds of officers searching for Marcano included the FBI and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Meanwhile, friends and family pray and desperate to find the missing teenager.
“At this time, we can’t identify the cause of death, so I don’t want to speculate on that,” Mina said of Marcano’s death during a news conference on Saturday.
Meena says they informed her parents just a few hours ago, “Our hearts are broken.”
“Everyone wanted this result to be different,” he said. “As a sheriff, as a father, obviously we are saddened by the loss of Mia.”
According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Caballero’s criminal history revealed a prior arrest in 2013 for using a destructive device to cause property damage and discharging a weapon on school property.
An arrest report said the Polk County sheriff’s deputy was called to the Warner University campus after reports of a bomb exploded inside the dorm. The explosive turned out to be a toilet bowl cleaner concoction inside a plastic beverage bottle. The report said that Caballero admitted to using improvised explosives as a “prank” on other residents of the dorm. No one got injured.
Arden Villa, the apartment complex where Marcano and Caballero worked, issued a statement saying “all potential employees are screened through a national background check service provider,” and no record of theft or sexual assault linked to Caballero. met.