Slain woman’s family questions actions of sheriff’s office

Southeast

ORLANDO, Fla. (NewsNation Now) — A Florida sheriff’s department has released a heavily redacted report on its response to the disappearance of a college student who was found dead. The young woman’s family says it only reinforces their belief that deputies failed to react quickly enough when she vanished.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office blacked out much of its four-page report into the Sept. 24 disappearance of Miya Marcano.

“I think that the reason that they released this incident report was basically to try to get the public to feel as if there was no reason to treat Miya’s apartment as a crime scene,” the family’s attorney, Daryl Washington, said during a Monday appearance on NewsNation Prime. “But I think what this incident report has done is it has given people so many more questions with their heavy redactions. If you’re trying to be transparent, what is the point of releasing the incident report were more than three fourths of the report is actually redacted?”

NewsNation reached out to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office multiple times for their response. We did not hear back from them.

Sheriff John Mina has said that in the hours after Marcano vanished, deputies didn’t have enough evidence to detain her suspected killer, Armando Caballero, and she was likely already dead.

The 19-year-old’s body was found Oct. 2, five days after Caballero was found dead of an apparent suicide.

Marcano was a Valencia College student who lived and worked at the same Orlando apartment complex where Caballero, 27, was employed as a maintenance worker. Investigators eventually determined that Caballero used a master key to enter Marcano’s apartment.

According to the report, Deputy Samir Paulino arrived at the apartment complex at about 9:20 p.m. Sept. 24 after Marcano’s mother said her daughter had stopped returning text messages and missed her flight home to South Florida.

Paulino spoke to a roommate who said Marcano texted her at about 5 p.m., saying she was heading to the airport. The deputy wrote that her bedroom was locked, but he peered through a window and “nothing suspicious stood out to me.”

The deputy apparently then left, but returned because he wrote that someone asked if an object “was on the bed,” the report said. It wasn’t clear who inquired because so much of the report was blacked out.

The deputy returned again at the request of Marcano’s relatives, who had driven to the apartment complex from South Florida, arriving after midnight. Paulino then spoke to Caballero, who told him he had found out “from a mutual friend that Miya is missing,” the deputy wrote.

The deputy noted that Marcano’s relatives said text messages showed Caballero had been stalking her, but he said he was unable to read them.

“It was just makes no sense why the sheriff’s deputy did not take those complaints very serious,” Washington said on NewsNation Prime. “My family does not want this to happen to anyone else.”

Washington previously said the deputy should be fired because his actions fell below national standards for police work.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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