‘This is step one’: Miya Marcano’s family files lawsuit against Arden Villas apartment complex

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — The family of a 19-year-old woman found dead in Orange County after disappearing from the apartment complex where she lived and worked has filed a lawsuit against the complex.

Miya Marcano’s family filed the suit against Arden Villas Apartments, its management company, The Preiss Company, and the estate of Armando Caballero in Orange County on Monday.

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SEE: Orange County Sheriff’s Office releases detailed timeline in Miya Marcano case

Investigators believe that Caballero, a maintenance worker at the complex, used a master key fob on Sept. 24 to break into her apartment and abduct her. Her body was found duct-taped and bound eight days later.

Family attorney Darryl Washington says they actually delayed filing the suit because they were waiting to see if the complex would reach out to offer their condolences or an explanation.

Last week, they were celebrating Miya’s life. This week, they’re taking action.

“This lawsuit is step one in getting justice,” Washington said.

The lawsuit claims the apartment complex and management company were negligent in Marcano’s death.

It says that “at no time was Miya Marcano made aware by management that Caballero had a criminal background, a history of harassing women, nor was she aware that Caballero would have unsupervised and/or free access to her apartment.

The apartment complex has claimed Caballero’s background check showed no records of either burglary or sexual assault, but Washington says that doesn’t hold up.

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“They’re trying to pick one or two particular charges and say that ‘we didn’t those charges on his background.’ The fact of the matter is there is something on his background,” Washington said.

Caballero’s criminal history shows one prior arrest in 2013 for using a destructive device and discharging a weapon.

According to the lawsuit, Caballero appears to be interested in Marcano, and that made her extremely uncomfortable.

“Everybody knew what was going on in that little front office area,” Washington said.

The suit says Miya expressed her concerns to employees of the Arden Villas, but her family felt management wasn’t taking the safety concerns seriously.

“It is so preventable if the proper procedures are put into place,” Washington said. “So that is what the family is hoping to be able to force through this lawsuit.”

The lawsuit also names Caballero’s estate. He was found dead by suicide days before Marcano’s body was discovered. The lawsuit also accuses Caballero of battery.

READ: Body of missing woman Miya Marcano found, sheriff says

Arden Villas has not responded to requests for comment on the lawsuit.

Washington has also been critical of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office’s handling of the case. He says he’s looking into the possibility of filing suit against them as well.

Read the full lawsuit below:

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Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.