ORLANDO, Fla. - Tearful emotions were visible on the faces of Miya Marcano’s family on Saturday night. Those who stood strong this week were supported by family once again.
"She was only 19 years old. She had the whole rest of her life ahead of her," said Miya’s cousin, Caili Sue.
The family and friends of the 19-year-old shared prayers and honored Miya’s life one last time in front of her apartment window at Arden Villas. Her family learned of a body being found believed to be Miya's just hours before.
"I can’t even put into words how we are feeling right now as a family," Caili Sue said. "I feel defeated. I feel like I failed my cousin and I don’t know how I’m going to get through this."
Deputies discovered what they believe to be Miya’s body near the Tymber Skan Condominiums on Saturday. Overgrown fields, trash and abandoned buildings line the area where she was found.
Orange County Sheriff John Mina said their main and only suspect, the now deceased, Armando Caballero’s cellphone pinged in the area between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. the night Miya disappeared.
"And Lord, you granted us our prayer. Even though you did not give us Miya the way we wanted her, we are grateful," said a family member in prayer.
During the week, dozens of Miya’s family members drove up from Fort Lauderdale or flew in from as far as Canada and the Caribbean to help in the search. Even as their search reached a week, they never gave up hope that they would find her alive.
This tragic end was not what they ever expected. The family isn’t sure what is next at the moment. All they know is they won’t be heading back to South Florida without Miya.
"Miya, we love you and I will always love you," said a family member. "This is not a goodbye. It is see you later. I love you, Miya."
The lawyer for Miya Marcano's family, Daryl K. Washington, released this statement on Saturday night:
"Learning the news of 19-year-old Miya’s disappearance has been incredibly disheartening. It is every parent’s worst nightmare. We’re beyond disappointed with the news that she has been found dead and we along with her family, friends and loved ones mourn for such a beautiful young lady with a promising future. We do want to thank the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the FBI and everyone who has contributed to finding Miya. We want to stress that we believe that her disappearance and consequential death was 100% preventable and we intend to hold those responsible accountable to the full extent of the law. Policies must be in place to always protect women…"
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