Orange County

Miya’s Law unanimously passes first committee hearing

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — State Sen. Linda Stewart went in front of lawmakers on Tuesday to fight for tenant safety in the name of Miya Marcano.

Sheriff’s deputies found the body of the former Valencia College student bound behind Tymberskan apartments last October.


Deputies believe the person responsible for kidnapping and killing her was Armando Caballero, a maintenance worker at Arden Villas where she lived who later committed suicide.

Miya’s Law had its first committee hearing on Tuesday, and it passed unanimously.

READ: Florida lawmakers, Miya Marcano’s family rally in favor of increasing renter safety

Stewart said she’s hopeful that soon, what happened to Miya is something no other renter experiences.

“We don’t have justice for my daughter,” Miya’s mother Yma Scarbriel said. “I’ll never get justice for my daughter.”

READ: Miya’s Law: Florida lawmakers propose legislation to impose stricter rules on apartment managers

Scarbriel said Miya’s Law, Senate Bill 989, has brought a new sense of purpose to fight for renter safety.

“It gives me something to do,” Scarbriel said. “I know at least her death wouldn’t be in vain. It keeps me pushing, you know. "

Investigators believe Caballero used his master key to wait for Miya in her apartment before abducting her.

READ: Miya’s Law: Family fights for legislation for tougher restrictions on apartment complex employees

The bill would require complexes to do national background checks on employees, including a check of sexual predator registries, and require places to give a 24-hour heads up to tenants when staff can enter somebody’s apartment, a key log of who enters, and an annual inspection to hold complexes accountable.

“The purpose of this bill is to make people not only aware but make people safer,” Stewart said.

Stewart said while Tuesday’s hearing is just the start for it to become a law, it’s one that will continue to get bipartisan support.

READ: Attorney: Sheriff’s defense of early investigation into Miya Marcano’s disappearance ‘shameful’

“This is something everyone can relate to because everyone has a lot of apartments in their district,” Stewart said.

The bill still has two more committee hurdles to get through in the Senate, before Rep. Robin Bartleman can try to get it passed through the House.

“Once her law is passed, it will be comforting to know that they will take the time out to do what they’re supposed to do,” Scarbriel said.

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Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson,

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.

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