'The Orange County Sheriff’s office failed Miya' family of murdered Orlando college student says

Miya Marcano, 19, was reported missing after she did not board a scheduled flight from Orlando to Ft. Lauderdale on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021.

Following the announcement that an Orange County Sheriff's Office deputy has been suspended without pay for failing to investigate the Miya Marcano case properly, the family of the 19-year-old and their attorney are speaking out. 

Deputy Samir Paulino has been disciplined with a 150-hour suspension without pay. 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. The evidence was reportedly given to him by a security guard.

The Marcano's family attorney Daryl K. Washington said the newly released investigative report confirms what the family has said all along: that the investigation into Miya's disappearance was not handled properly. 

"Knowing how Deputy Paulino and other responding deputies handled this case is inexcusable and has caused Miya’s family and friends to experience additional pain," Washington said in a statement. "What is worse is that Sheriff Mina defended the poorly conducted investigation and applauded his deputies for doing an excellent job despite the number of failures that have now been revealed to the public."

RELATED: Gov. DeSantis signs 'Miya's Law,' named for murdered Orlando college student

Washington believes that if the pleas of the family were taken seriously, the outcome of the case could have been much different. 

"Honestly, I feel sick. I physically feel sick!" Miya's mother said in a statement through her attorney. "Deputy Paulino failed Miya. The Orange County Sheriff’s office failed Miya. The Preiss Company and the owners of the Arden Villas Luxury Apartments failed Miya. We begged these deputies to help us. We begged the Property Management Company for help. Deputy Paulino allowed the person who harmed our daughter to walk free. I am heartbroken. I am simply heartbroken!"

Miya Marcano was found dead a week after she went missing from her Orlando apartment last years. The suspected killer, who later committed suicide, worked as a maintenance worker at Marcano’s apartment complex. According to investigators, he used a master key fob to enter Marcano’s apartment the day she went missing. 

Gov. Ron DeSantis last month signed a bill called ‘Miya’s Law' that will require apartment landlords to conduct background checks on employees. Under the new law, criminal and sexual-offender background checks will be required for apartment-complex employees. Also, tenants will have to be given 24 hours’ notice before workers can enter apartments.