Authorities have reportedly found the body of missing college student Miya Marcano, CNN reports.
Officials from the Orange County Sheriff’s emergency response team discovered the body on Oct. 2 at around 10:45 a.m.
According to the department’s Sheriff John Mina, Marcano’s body was uncovered near a wooded area near the Tymber Skan on the Lake Apartments, just 18 miles west of her home. A purse with her identification was also located at the crime scene.
“Everyone wanted this outcome to be different,” Mina said of the horrific news.
The 19-year-old student, who was attending Valencia College, was last seen around 5 p.m. on September 24 at the Arden Villas Luxury Apartments near the University of Central Florida. Marcano lived and worked at the residency.
Authorities have notified Marcano’s parents, however, Mina explained they are awaiting an official identification report from a medical examiner. The cause of Marcano’s death is still unclear.
Mina released a statement about the investigation following the news.
“Obviously, this is not the update I wanted to give to everyone,” he told reporters during a news conference on Oct.2, Complex notes. “Our hearts are broken. As a community, as a sheriff, as a father, you know, obviously we are grieving the loss of Miya. We can’t imagine the pain and anguish that Miya’s parents, the family, the loved ones, the friends, and really, our entire community, have gone through and will continue to go through.”
The discovery of Marcano’s body comes just five days after the leading suspect of interest, 27-year-old Armando Caballero, was found dead of an apparent suicide. Authorities believe Caballero, a maintenance worker at the Arden Villas Apartments, used his master key to enter Marcano’s apartment. Caballero had reportedly shown a romantic interest in Marcano.
Marcano’s case follows a string of cases involving missing women of color that have been reported over the last year.
27-year-old Rajah McQueen from Cleveland went missing back on June 24 and her family and officials have yet to uncover her whereabouts. According to Cleveland 19, McQueen was last seen in the Cleveland area with her boyfriend in a car on the week of June 20. They believe she may have been in an abusive relationship with her partner, News 5 Cleveland reported.
The family of 28-year-old Paige Coffey told the outlet that they have not been able to find the Bratenahl native since she was last seen at a local retail store in early May of 2019. It’s been nearly two years and still no luck. Both families have expressed their concerns with the media for not bringing attention to the recent surge of missing Black women, following the case of 22-year-old Gabby Petito. Petito, a white woman, was found dead after she went on a cross-country trip with her boyfriend.
“She also should have that same treatment, and any other young lady of color should have that same treatment. They should be on TV,” Trinettea Williamson, Coffey’s mother, said of her daughter’s case.
McQueen’s cousin Alicia Kirkland echoed a similar statement
“It’s bigger than my cousin. There are other girls who are missing as well that went missing around the same time, and I don’t hear their name in the press. I don’t, and I’ve seen their mothers rally, so I don’t understand what the difference is.”
“What would you want people to do if that was your cousin, your mother, your sister? What would you want people to share? Wouldn’t you want the same results someone like Gabby was given?” she added.