VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. — The reward for information 19-year-old Miya Marcano's whereabouts has increased as the search expanded in Volusia County Friday.
What You Need To Know
- 19-year-old Miya Marcano has been missing since around 5 p.m. Sept. 24
- Authorities now searching an area in Volusia County after searches in Orange and Seminole counties
- Reward for information is up to $15,000
- A candlelight vigil for Marcano is planned for 7:30 p.m. Friday at Arden Villas
- MORE: Live Updates: The search for Miya Marcano
The Orange County Sheriff's Office set up a mobile command center in New Smyrna Beach, where law enforcement agents are combing the marshes around the Indian River.
This is the third county searched, after Orange and Seminole counties.
Marcano was last seen on Sept. 24, at her apartment complex, Arden Villas, in Orlando.
According to private investigator Rick Raymond based in Daytona Beach, the first 24 hours are the most crucial when trying to find a missing person. Every hour and day that goes by makes the odds of a happy outcome less and less, he said.
Since 1998 Raymond has been a private investigator and is a former police officer, he said rather than trying to track Miya Marcano, he would go back to the person of interest in this case Armando Caballero.
“You’re most viable suspect is deceased,” Raymond begins to explain. “Everything kind of stops if it was me at this point I would be tracking his movements for the last seven days.”
On Wednesday the search went back to Arden Villas with dogs which is where Marcano lives. Raymond said there could be a reason dogs aren’t picking up anything.
“Once she is taken out of an apartment, put in a car and the car drives off, the scent is gone," he said. "That’s most likely how she was removed from the apartment complex.”
And despite all the gadgets, tools, and spy gear one could image, its leg work and getting in to the community that Raymond believes can lead to success.
“Sometimes its as simple as going back and re-interviewing people,” Raymond said. “Somebody may have seen something they may have saw and didn't realize was relevant at the time.”
Friends and family are hoping the case will be solved soon — and Marcano's safe return home is the result they want most.
“Hopefully we can find her soon — preferably alive. The family has hope that she’s alive, she will be found alive and we need everybody’s help,” said Carol Hylton, a close family friend.
“They want closure. They would like the safe return of Miya. Her family loves her.”
The Marcano family says investigators discovered a ping in the New Smyrna Beach area from Armando Caballero’s cell phone.
He’s the only suspect in Miya Marcano’s disappearance.
Caballero was found hanged in a garage building at the Camden Club Apartments in Longwood where he lived on Monday, according to a Seminole County Sheriff's Office report. Investigators say he died of a suicide.
Miya’s family came out and searched in the New Smyrna Beach area, too, once they heard about the ping.
“If nobody else, her family is going to find her,” said Adriana Sue, Mercano’s cousin. “We look out for each other and we never leave anybody behind. She’s ours and we’re hers."
A reward for information into Marcano's whereabouts is now up to $15,000. If you know anything about the case you’re asked to call Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS.
Family and friends are urging people to come out to a candlelight vigil planned for 7:30 p.m. Friday at Arden Villas. They request that people wear blue and say they hope the candles will help light the way home for Marcano.
The family also called on the FBI to help in the search, and the feds are assisting with some special technology.
Investigators say the best way the community can help is to remember if they saw anything and to report it.