The tragic death of Miya Marcano shook the Orlando area in fall 2021. Now, her family is filing a wrongful death lawsuit in an attempt to gain some measure of justice for the loss of the 19-year-old girl’s life.
The defendants are the Arden Villas apartment complex where Marcano lived and worked, along with the Preiss Company that owns and operates the complex. The estate of Armando Caballero, the deceased prime suspect in Marcano’s death, was also listed in the summons.
Caballero was 27 years old and employed by Arden Villas as a maintenance worker. He reportedly had a romantic interest in Marcano, one that she did not share and found uncomfortable.
Then, on September 24, 2021, Marcano went missing. Three days later, Caballero was found to have taken his own life. On October 2, Marcano’s body was found.
Caballero emerged as the prime suspect, with county sheriff John Mina saying publicly that he believed Cabarello to be responsible.
“We now know that a maintenance-issued master key fob, which Caballero was known to be in possession of, was used to enter Miya’s apartment Friday afternoon (the day of her disappearance), at about 4:30. This would have been about 30 minutes before she should finish her shift at the apartment complex,” Mina said.
Marcano’s body was ultimately found near a complex where Caballero previously worked, 17 miles away. She was bound with duct tape at her hands and feet, although there was no evidence of sexual assault. The ultimate cause of death is still undetermined by the medical examiner’s office.
So why is the apartment complex responsible?
Daryl K. Washington, attorney for the Marcanos, notes that Caballero only had access to the apartment because of the master key fob he was given.
While the key fob is a part of the job, Washington argues that this heightened Arden Villas’ responsibility to do a thorough background check on the employees granted this type of access. The lawyer points out that a background check would have uncovered a previous arrest, as well as the fact that a female resident at another complex where Cabarello worked had expressed concern over him.
If Arden Villas had that information, perhaps they might not have hired Caballero, given him complete access to all the apartments or, at the very least, they would have taken Marcano more seriously when she told the complex that she had concerns about him.
At least that’s the argument Washington will make. If a jury agrees that Arden Villas was in fact negligent, the lawsuit is seeking the fairly modest sum of $30,000, plus all court costs and attorney fees.