Father of Missing Fla. College Student Miya Marcano 'Strongly Believes' He Will Find Daughter

Miya Marcano was last seen at about 5 p.m. on Sept. 24, at the Arden Villas Apartments in Orlando

Miya Marcano
Miya Marcano. Photo: Orange County Sheriff's Office

The father of missing Florida 19-year-old Miya Marcano says he "strongly believes" he will find his daughter.

"People just need to know we have eyes on everywhere for Miya, and any little information helps," Miya's dad Marlon Marcano, 41, tells PEOPLE. "If you see something, hear something, know something — just say something. That is all we ask."

"The word out there is just to find Miya," the popular Florida DJ adds. "We are searching. She is a very fun-loving, energetic person who loves everybody."

A reward is being offered for any information about the Valencia College sophomore's disappearance.

"That encourages people to talk," says Marlon. "Once they see money involved it is an incentive. At the end of the day, we have to try every which way."

Miya was last seen around 5 p.m. on Sept. 24, at the Arden Villas Apartments in Orlando where she lived and worked in the leasing office.

Armando Manuel Caballero
Armando Manuel Caballero.

Marlon says she planned to fly to Fort Lauderdale that evening to visit family members. Her family realized she was missing around 5 p.m. when she stopped answering text messages.

"Her last response was at the 5 o'clock hour and that was it," he says. "Her phone was off since then."

His last text message to his daughter was before he boarded a flight from Los Angeles to Fort Lauderdale, where he planned to meet up with her that evening.

"She had an hour left for work," he says. "I told her I loved her, and text me when she got off of work. I will still be flying. She replied back 'love you too,' and that was it."

At a press conference on Monday, Orange County Sheriff John Mina named Armando Manuel Caballero, 27, a person of interest in Miya's disappearance. Prior to the press conference, Caballero was found dead by suicide Monday inside his apartment in Seminole County.

Mina said the maintenance worker who worked at the same complex as Miya expressed a romantic interest in her but was repeatedly rebuffed.

"I think that it is a situation where someone had developed a romantic interest," he said. "Obviously Miya wasn't interested. We are still trying to investigate all the circumstances behind this and what exactly happened regarding her disappearance."

Caballero had been working in maintenance at the complex since June.

"Her disappearance is suspicious and our detectives and the family members obviously suspect foul play," he said. "So we are still doing everything possible we can to find her."

Mina said that prior to his death, Caballero had told detectives he last saw Miya at work around 3 p.m. Friday.

"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 on Friday afternoon at about 430 p.m.," he said. "This would have been about 30 minutes before she finished her shift at the apartment complex."

According to WFLA, a cousin of Miya's said family members found her bedroom in "disarray" with jewelry on the floor and the bed unmade. Family members told the outlet that blood was also found in the area.

Mina said they had issued an arrest warrant for Caballero and were looking for him over the weekend before they found him dead at his apartment in Seminole County on Monday.

Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE's free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.

For Marlon, he strongly believes his daughter is still alive somewhere.

"There has been a lot of missing teens in the Orlando area recently," he says. "At the end of the day this could be something that's going to uncover a whole organization we don't know about. At this point in time, it doesn't matter who took her or why they took her. I just want them to bring her back, no questions asked."

His grief, he says, has been "unimaginable."

Anyone has information about Miya Marcano's whereabouts is asked to contact the Orange County Sheriff's Office at 407-836-4357.

Related Articles