COOPER CITY (CBSMiami) – A funeral service and burial is taking place Thursday for Broward teen Miya Marcano. The service for the central Florida college student is taking place at the Cooper City Church of God where a celebration of life was held on Wednesday night.
"In our minds, she will always be an angel, and she was an angel for 19 years," her uncle said.
"Miya has been with me for every major event and occasion in my life," said Miya's godmother, holding back tears. "I'm having a very hard time."
Family members leaned on each other for support.
Anyone who wanted to speak could come forward and share special memories.
"We will forever remember your smile and the infectious effect it had on us all," said her teacher.
"She was a blessing to me my first year at Flanagan High School. She was the type of student who would help other students," her principal noted.
People stood up to talk about her big smile, bright eyes, intelligence, and friendliness.
The 19-year-old was a sophomore at Orlando's Valencia College. She was a graduate of Flanagan High School in Pembroke Pines.
"She was one of the most positive people to ever walk the face of the planet," said Miya's friend. "Clearly, by how many people are here, this has impacted so many people. Her memory resounds in so many as something so great."
Many were wearing her favorite color blue or had a nod to butterflies, which Miya loved. Like a butterfly, based on everything people said, she would land in their lives with full of color and light. One word in her Caribbean culture encompassed all of that: Wassy.
"Wassy means vibrant," said one of the speakers. "Wassy means exuberant!"
Her casket was topped with a crown, fitting for her nickname "princess."
"Know you will continue to watch over us, my sweet princess Miya," her friend said tearfully.
Marcano, whose body was found a week after she vanished, her arms and legs bound with black duct tape.
Marcano vanished the same day a maintenance man improperly used a master key to enter her Orlando apartment. Investigators said Armando Caballero was a maintenance worker at the apartment complex where Marcano lived and worked and was considered the "prime suspect." Caballero apparently killed himself; his body was found three days after Marcano was last seen.
Marcano's parents launched the Miya Marcano Foundation. Their mission is to "support, educate and provide resources to families of missing persons while advocating for students and our most vulnerable populations."
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