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Tallahassee PD hopes to make an arrest soon in Jorge Diaz-Johnston homicide investigation

Black Tallahassee police patrol car parked
Patrick Sternad
WFSU Public Media

Tallahassee resident and Florida LGBTQ leader Jorge Diaz-Johnston recently was found dead in a Jackson County landfill. The Tallahassee Police Department says the investigation is moving swiftly, and they hope to make an arrest soon. Diaz-Johnston and his partner were one of the six couples listed as plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the Miami-Dade County Clerk’s Office that resulted in the county lifting its ban on gay marriage in 2015.

Alicia Turner, a spokesperson from TPD, says Don Diaz-Johnston, Jorge’s husband, has not been ruled out as a suspect. She says the couple was separated at the time of Jorge’s disappearance and no longer living together. Jorge was living with someone else, but Turner could not comment on who that was. Don filed a missing person’s report on the evening of January 7th, multiple days after Jorge was last seen on January 3rd near his workplace on Remington Green Circle.

“When you’re not normally seeing someone every day,” says Turner, “it’s pretty typical to go that amount of time before you might think that something is wrong.”

The morning after the missing person’s report was filed, Jorge’s body was found in a Jackson County landfill. It was transported there via a dump truck that came from Okaloosa County. Turner says that “generally speaking, waste moves around the region,” so it is a possibility that Diaz-Johnston’s body was moved from Tallahassee to the Baker landfill in Okaloosa County, before ultimately being discovered in Jackson County.

Diaz-Johnston’s brother is Manny Diaz, the chair of the Florida Democratic Party and the former mayor of Miami. His nephew, also named Manny Diaz, is the former head football coach at the University of Miami.

Follow @bgrutherford99

Brett Rutherford is a reporter and news researcher at WFSU Pubic Media. From Riverview, Florida, he has earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Florida State University. During his time at Florida State, he was a reporter within the sports department at WVFS, the student-run on-campus radio station. In 2020, he served as Sports Director during his senior year and hosted the weekly talk show Tomahawk Talk.

Email Brett: brutherford2@fsu.edu