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Miya Marcano’s family files wrongful death lawsuit against her apartment complex

<i>Orange County Sheriff's Office</i><br/>The family of Miya Marcano filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the apartment complex where she worked and lived.
Orange County Sheriff's Office
The family of Miya Marcano filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the apartment complex where she worked and lived.

By Rebekah Riess and Gregory Lemos, CNN

The family of 19-year-old Miya Marcano, who went missing from her apartment in Florida and was later found dead in a wooded area, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against her apartment complex and the company that operates the complex in connection with her death.

The lawsuit, filed Monday, alleges negligence by companies that own and operate the Arden Villas Luxury Apartments in Orlando, where Marcano lived and worked. The lawsuit names Arden Villas Apartments LLC, which owns and operates the property, and The Preiss Company, which operates and manages the complex, according to the court filing.

It also alleges battery by Armando Manuel Caballero, who was a maintenance worker at the Arden Villas apartments and took his own life after Marcano’s disappearance, investigators said.

Marcano went missing September 24 and her body was found October 2 in a wooded area near an apartment complex where Caballero once lived. Marcano’s hands and feet were bound and her mouth covered in tape, officials said.

Orange County Sheriff John Mina previously said investigators “believe pretty conclusively that Armando Caballero is responsible” for Marcano’s death. The lawsuit names Caballero’s estate as a defendant.

Authorities believe Caballero, who was found dead September 27, had accessed Marcano’s apartment without her permission.

“We now know that a maintenance-issued master key fob, which Caballero was known to be in possession of, was used to enter Miya’s apartment Friday afternoon, at about 4:30. This would have been about 30 minutes before she should finish her shift at the apartment complex,” Mina previously said.

“Arden Villas gave Armando Caballero the unfettered access he needed to kill Miya. They need to be held accountable for their negligence,” family attorney Daryl K. Washington said Tuesday in a news release.

The lawsuit says Marcano believed Caballero was interested in her and that made her extremely uncomfortable. “Marcano expressed her concerns to employees of the Arden Villas as well as to her parents who were concerned that … the manager of the Arden Villas, was not taking the safety concerns of the employees and tenants, very seriously,” the lawsuit says.

CNN has reached out to The Preiss Company for comment.

“The family had hoped to hear from the management of the Arden Villas and expected for them to show more compassion towards their family, especially since Miya was an employee, but unfortunately it never happened,” Washington said. “No human being should ever deal with the treatment experienced by Miya and her family.”

According to Washington, the family is hoping that by pursuing the lawsuit, they can “get answers to numerous questions and hold those responsible for the disappearance and death of Miya fully responsible.”

The lawsuit seeks damages in excess of $30,000, exclusive of interest, costs, and attorneys’ fees. It demands a trial by jury, according to the filing.

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CNN’s Steve Almasy contributed to this report.

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