Family of Miya Marcano Seeks Justice As Community Mourns

by Sheri-Kae McLeod

The family of the late Miya Marcano has called for justice and is looking into legal action against the apartment complex where she lived, in the aftermath of her death which has rocked the Caribbean community in Florida.

The body of the 19-year-old was found on Saturday in the area of Tymber Skan in Orange County, a week after she was reported missing on September 24th. Miya, who has ties to the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, is the daughter of popular Trinidadian South Florida deejay, Marlon Marcano. Over the weekend, members of the Caribbean-American community in Orlando hosted a vigil to honor the teen.

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The family of Marcano has hired civil rights lawyer, Daryl Washington, who has also dealt with popular cases like the 2018 Dallas police shooting of St Lucia native, Botham Jean.

While there is no indication of whether or not the family intends to file a lawsuit against the Arden Villas Apartment complex in Orlando, where Miya Marcano lived, Washington said that he believed they were “negligent.”

“We’re learning so many different things. We’re learning that there weren’t even security cameras in a number of places at this complex. There is a lot of frustration, but there is just simply no way this young man, who is really a predator, should have had access to Miya’s apartment,” Washington said at a news conference with the family on October 3rd.

Detectives were able to find Marcano’s body using phone records of the now-deceased prime suspect Armando Caballero, who was found dead by suicide on September 27. Investigators believe Caballero, who worked maintenance at the complex where Marcano lived, had expressed a romantic interest in the college student but was repeatedly rebuffed. He reportedly used a master key to enter the teen’s apartment on the day she disappeared.

The case is currently under law enforcement investigation, but according to South Florida attorney-at-law Mark Douglas, owners of apartment complexes have the right to enter a tenant’s apartment under certain conditions.

“The owner of the apartments or the condominium would have a right of access under certain circumstances – usually with notice, at a reasonable time for maintenance or preservation of property,” Douglas explained to CNW Network.

“If the individual [tenant] is away and there is an emergency, that would also give way for immediate access, for preservation of property,” added.

But there are also certain rights that are granted to the tenants, under Florida law.

“If there was no emergency or anything of the sort, it would certainly be a breach of the contract between the tenant and the entity. If it falls outside of reasonable access, it could be deemed burglary if the person had no legal basis for being in that apartment,” he said.

Washington has also raised concerns regarding the hiring process for employees at Arden Villas. He claimed that if a background check was conducted on Caballero, it was not as extensive as it should have been.

But according to Douglas, “you’re constrained from suing an employer under the notion of negligent hiring if there was nothing in the background of the person that alerted the employer that the person has a propensity for violence, or any such thing.”

In the meantime, other college students who live at Arden Villas have launched a petition to enhance security at the apartment complex. It has so far gotten over 32,000 signatures.

Marcano’s family has plans to create a foundation in her name to honor her as well as raise awareness about personal safety.

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