TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Nine months after investigators said an Orange County Maintenance man killed his 19-year-old tenant, Gov. Ron Desantis signed "Miya's Law".
With this law signing, Florida's landlords are now required to check the background of apartment complex workers.
Armando Caballero, 27, was a maintenance man at Arden Villas and investigators believed he killed Miya Marcano. According to reports, Caballero gained access to Marcano's apartment by using his master key. Detectives say he kidnapped her and killed her and left her body in the woods.
Nearly 9-months after Marcano's death, a bill to try and give renters more layers of protection from workers who can get inside their homes was signed into law.
“It was a private signing meaning no media was involved," said State Senator Linda Stewart (D-Orange County). "They were happy to be there, they were happy Miya was recognized.”
After hearing what happened to Miya, State Senator Stewart made it her mission to try and prevent the same thing from happening to anyone else. She did this by creating a bill that is commonly known as Miya's Law.
"You couldn’t ask for a better situation than to have your daughter that was murdered senselessly by a maintenance people to be honored by a bill that will help reduce - if not eliminate people coming into your apartment without your knowledge...and having master keys and having touchpad numbers without your permission and coming in and assaulting you," Sen. Stewart said.
The new law now requires landlords and building managers to require a background check for every potential employee.
"There were no background checks, so you just hired someone to be a maintenance man," said Dr. David Thomas, Florida Gulfcoast Forensic Professor. "Think about your house where all of your belongings are and where you reside-and your family resides. This means anyone is walking through your front do to *quote* fix or repair your apartment.”
Currently, in Florida, landlords are only required to give tenants 12 hours of notice if a worker will be in their home. However, Miya's law is changing this where landlords must give at least 24 hours.
"That gives you time to hide your valuables and not worry about them being stolen," Dr. Thomas said. "In this day in age when you can put cameras in your apartment that’s not a bad idea.”
Fox 4 reached out to the manager of Miya Marcano's apartment complex and has not heard back. Marcano's suspected killer, Caballero died by suicide a few days after her body was found. He never went to trial.
“Every tenant deserves to be safe in their own home. By signing this legislation, we are making it safer to live in a rental unit and giving renters more peace of mind in their homes. Miya’s death was a tragedy, and our prayers continue to be with the Marcano family. I am proud to act on their behalf to help prevent a tragedy like that from happening to another Florida tenant.”