- Insider spoke with the attorney for the family of Miya Marcano, a Black college student who went missing and was found dead earlier this month.
- Daryl Washington said that Marcano’s case didn’t get the same effort from law enforcement as Gabby Petito’s case.
- “Law enforcement did not treat [Marcano’s] case as a high priority case,” he said.
The attorney for Miya Marcano’s family, the 19-year-old Black college student who was found dead after missing for a week, said that the Gabby Petito case received more effort from authorities than Marcano’s.
Miya Marcano, a student at Valencia College in Orlando, Florida, went missing on September 24, Insider previously reported. Her body was found on October 2, but the cause of death has yet to be determined, according to the Orange County Sherriff’s Office.
“I think it’s very interesting that we have two of these cases happening pretty simultaneously. And I think what it does is it really gives the world an opportunity to see sometimes some of the differences that you have in the coverage that each case receives,” Daryl Washington, the attorney for the Marcano family, told Insider.
“This is by no means anything against Gabby’s family,” he continued. “I do think they do deserve the type of attention that they’re getting.”
Gabby Petito was reported missing on September 11, and her body was found on September 19, Insider previously reported.
Her cause of death was ruled to be strangulation, according to a Wyoming coroner. She documented her van-style living on social media with her fiance, Brian Laundrie, who is also the prime suspect in her murder. His whereabouts are currently unknown.
According to authorities, Armando Caballero, a 27-year-old maintenance worker, is the prime suspect in Marcano’s case. Caballero was seen entering her apartment the day Marcano was reported missing. He later killed himself.
A heavily redacted incident report from the Orange County Sherriff’s Office on the Marcano investigation was released on October 15.
But Washington said that the report “contains a lot of misrepresentations” and “omissions.”
“Clearly, this incident report was released to the public as a means of defending the actions of a Sheriff’s deputy and not as a means of being transparent,” Washington said.
“Law enforcement did not treat this case as a high priority case,” he continued. “In these cases, every second matters, and we do believe if law enforcement would have treated this case with some priority, there’s a high likelihood that the final outcome could have been different.”
Washington said the family is now focused on helping other families with missing relatives through its Miya Marcano Foundation.
“We have seen in the past that there have been children of different nationalities and races who have not gotten the same coverage that [Gabby Petito] received. And I think, with something as important as a missing child’s report, this should be something that’s not reported based on race, but based on the severity of the case,” he said.