Miya Marcano's Autopsy Confirms Homicide, But Means of Death Still a Mystery

Medical examiners confirmed Monday that the death of college student Miya Marcano was a homicide, but the means of her killing is still a mystery. Authorities believe a handyman at the apartment complex where they both worked and she also resided was responsible for her murder, but he was found dead of an apparent suicide in September before police could question or detain him.

After Marcano vanished, her family and loved ones searched for her for roughly eight days in Orlando before discovering her remains near her apartment complex. Her body was "nearly completely skeletonized," with black duct tape on her neck, wrists and ankles, according to the autopsy report obtained by WPLG.

Orange-Osceola Chief Medical Examiner Joshua Stephany said that because the body was in such a high state of decomposition when authorities recovered it, he was not able to assess it for specific injuries.

"Due to the decomposed nature and near complete skeletonization of her body, very little residual soft tissue is available to examine for injury. There is also no internal organs remaining to examine for injury. No trauma is identified on the skeletal system," the report said.

A muscle specimen was collected from her body so that Steward Reference Laboratory could conduct a toxicology assessment, which found that Marcano was negative for all substances including fentanyl and cocaine, according to the autopsy report.

Stephany, who performed the autopsy on October 3, wrote that Marcano likely had experienced "some type of assault" because of "the manner in which she was found, with multiple restraints and her disposition in an abandoned area of an apartment complex." He also noted that the duct tape on her neck may have initially covered her mouth or nose.

The autopsy report concluded that she died by "homicide of undetermined means."

Police Lights
Authorities believe a handyman at Miya Marcano's apartment complex was responsible for her murder, but he was found dead of an apparent suicide in September before police could question or detain him. Above, police vehicles are seen in Colorado on December 4, 2015. David Zalubowski/AP Photo

The 19-year-old woman's body was found on October 2, five days after her suspected killer, Armando Caballero, was found dead of an apparent suicide.

Marcano was a Valencia College student who lived and worked at the 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 a lawsuit filed by Marcano's family against the owners of the apartment complex, Caballero made unwanted advances to Marcano, who expressed her concerns to a manager at the apartment complex. But the manager "was not taking the safety concerns of the employees and tenants, very seriously," the lawsuit said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Miya Marcano Case
Medical examiners confirmed Monday that the death of college student Miya Marcano was a homicide, but the means of her killing is still a mystery. Marcano’s body was “nearly completely skeletonized” when it was discovered in October, with black duct tape on her neck, wrists and ankles, according to the autopsy report. Christopher Furlong/Getty Images