ORLANDO, Fla. - An Orange County Sheriff's Office deputy investigating Miya Marcano's murder has been suspended without pay for about six days for failing to investigate the case properly.
"It’s very disappointing," said Attorney Daryl Washington, who is representing Marcano's family.
Deputy Samir Paulino's violation was sustained and he was disciplined with a 150-hour suspension without pay.
"I think what would have been appropriate for this case would be terminating the deputy," Washington said.
Deputy Paulino failed to notify his supervisor after allegedly finding evidence in the case, including a box cutter, blood, and a fingerprint on the window – evidence that was given to him by a security guard.
"We do not think the Orange County Sheriff’s department took the disappearance of Miya very serious," Washington said.
It's a tough question to ponder, but if the evidence had been shared, would Miya still be alive?
"That’s gonna always be the biggest question. This is the thing that haunts the family each and every day," said Washington.
The investigative report said deputy Paulino watched Marcano's family argue with Armando Caballero, the suspect, the night Miya went missing, instead of detaining or arresting him.
"Had he just done that, we do believe that Miya had a chance to be alive today," Washington said.
And if not found alive, her family believes she could have had a proper burial. However, her body was found significantly decomposed.
Washington said the family intends on asking for a harsher penalty against the deputy.
"I think by suspending someone for 150 hours that is not enough to tell the citizens of Orange County that they matter," he said.
Supervisor Corporal Kenneth Dale was suspended 10 hours without pay.
"Few things are more excruciating for a family than when a loved one goes missing and is murdered. In the case of Miya Marcano’s disappearance, managers in the responding deputy’s chain of command recognized a lack of urgency on his part, and asked that his role – and the role of his Corporal - in the first hours of that incident be investigated by our Professional Standards division," said Sheriff John Mina in a written statement.
"That deputy was sustained for unsatisfactory performance and the discipline was harsh. As a result of this incident, we are in the process of making changes to policy that will direct first-responding patrol deputies to immediately notify their supervisors, and the Missing Persons Unit, in any case in which someone is considered a Missing Endangered Person," he said.