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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Murder of Orlando student Miya Marcano leads to legislative push for stricter background checks for apartment complex employees

Posted By on Wed, Dec 1, 2021 at 3:54 PM

  • Photo via Instagram/ justiceformiyamarcano

Calling the measure “Miya’s Law,” state legislators are seeking to require apartment landlords to conduct background checks on employees. Bills filed in the House and Senate (HB 577 and SB 898) come after the death of 19-year-old Miya Marcano, a Valencia College student who went missing from her Orlando apartment in late September and was found dead a week later.

Her suspected killer, who later committed suicide, worked as a maintenance worker at Marcano’s apartment complex. According to investigators, he used a master key fob to enter Marcano’s apartment the day she went missing. Under the identical bills, criminal and sexual- offender background checks would be required for apartment complex employees. Additionally, tenants would have to be given 24 hours’ notice before workers could enter apartments, up from the current 12-hour threshold.

“Millions of apartment residents in Florida trust that they will be safe when they sign a lease,” Senate sponsor Linda Stewart, D-Orlando, said Wednesday. “Unfortunately, there is no requirement for apartments to run background checks before hiring an employee who will have access to someone’s home.”

Yma Scarbriel, mother of Miya Marcano, said her daughter’s death was preventable.

“Miya’s Law will prevent future incidents like this from ever happening again,” she said. “Apartment complexes must be more diligent in implementing and enforcing policies and procedures that will ensure tenants are safe.”

The bills are filed for the 2022 legislative session, which will start Jan. 11.

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