Watch CBS News

Orange County Sheriff John Mina: Body Found Believed To Be Missing Miya Marcano

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - Orange County Sheriff John Mina held a press conference on Saturday afternoon to say they have found a body believed to be that of missing Pembroke Pines teen Miya Marcano.

Mina said the body was found in a wooded area in the area of Tymber Skan on the Lake Condominiums Saturday morning.

"Everyone wanted this outcome to be different," Mina said.

Mina also said they had notified her parents, adding "our hearts are broken."

Her purse and ID were also found.

"We sent search teams out first thing this morning, that's when they found what we believe to be Miya," said Mina.

Watch Sheriff John Mina's press conference in its entirety


The sheriff said they were alerted to the Tymber Skan Apartments by cellphone data, they say the prime murder suspect Armando Caballero, who committed suicide, once lived there.

Cellphone records show that Caballero was in or near the Tymber Skan Apartments on Friday evening between 8 and 9 o'clock which was the evening that she was missing.

Investigators say they will be able to put all the pieces together to figure out what happened. Right now, they have a general timeline of what happened the Friday Miya disappeared.

"We know that he entered her apartment at 4:30. We know he was at Tymber Skan Apartments where we believe she was found between 8 and 9 o'clock," said Mina.

Cellphone data also led deputies to a marshy area 50 miles away in New Smyrna Beach. They said the night of the murder and into the early morning hours, Caballero moved around Orange, Seminole and Volusia Counties, spending more than an hour in this wilderness area.

"I do think he was trying to throw authorities off the trail by going all over the place, New Smyrna Beach, maybe in an effort to possibly get away with this before he took his own life," said Mina.

Now family and friends are facing the horrible fact that Miya is gone, her body left among trash and overgrown brush.

"I'm a parent too. If someone threw my child away like trash, I'd be furious. Look where we are at. She deserves so much better than that," said Urvashi Calloway, cousin of a cousin.

At this point, investigators are waiting for the autopsy results to find the actual cause of death. They say they're also still looking for two cellphones as well as some keys.

On Friday, the FBI joined the search for missing Marcano and a $15,000 reward was announced for information in the case.

Police agencies searched in New Smyrna Beach, which proved to be a difficult area.

Deputies were riding ATVs in brushy areas and they're searching through dense woods — using machetes to cut their way through the wilderness.

An aerial view shows the vastness of where they are looking for any sign of Marcano.

At a sad vigil Saturday night, Marcano's father was hugging her favorite teddy bear as he leaned on his family for strength.

Just feet away, her aunt clutched onto poster filled with happy pictures of Marcano. She's devastated, along with the rest of the family after getting the news that a body was found and it appears to be Marcano.

"I feel defeated," said Miya's close cousin Caili Sue. "I feel like I failed my cousin. Now I don't know how we're going to get through this."

Her godmother Adriana Sue is devastated as well.

"I miss my baby and I wish she had come home today," she said.

Marcano Vigil
Family and friends of Miya Marcano coming together for a vigil. (Courtesy of Ted Scouten)

The family tells CBS4 investigators got a ping from suspect Caballero's phone in New Smyrna Beach.

He's the prime suspect who died by apparent suicide. Orange County Sheriff John Mina remains vague about the mission here.

"As tips and leads and evidence comes in from cellphone records, internet searches, all those things, we immediately send teams out to search those areas," Sheriff Mina said.

Marcano vanished Friday September 24 just before she was supposed to fly to Fort Lauderdale to visit her family, authorities said.

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.

Orlando Missing Student Vigil  Miya Marcano
View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.