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Brother of Manny Diaz, Florida Democratic Party Chairman, found dead

His body was discovered at the Jackson County landfill on Saturday

Investigan muerte de hermano de ex-alcalde de Miami Manny Díaz
Investigan muerte de hermano de ex-alcalde de Miami Manny Díaz | Tallahassee Police & Florida Democratic Party

January 13, 2022 6:44pm

Updated: January 14, 2022 9:39am

Jorge Diaz-Johnston, 54, brother of former Miami mayor and current Florida Democratic Party leader Manny Diaz, was found dead Saturday in a Florida landfill. 

The event is being investigated by authorities as a homicide. According to Tallahassee police, Diaz-Johnston was last seen alive on Jan. 3.

According to police, a missing person alert was issued for Diaz-Johnson on Saturday, the same day his body was discovered at the Jackson County landfill. On Sunday, the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office (OCSO) reported that the body had been in the trash that was picked up by a private company around 9:30 a.m. at the Baker landfill on Charlie Day Road.

"The driver was on his way back to Okaloosa County to pick up another load when he received a call to contact law enforcement," authorities said in a Facebook post. "OCSO investigators say the trash going into the waste trailer came from a metal bay at the Baker landfill, which is accessible to any business or individual."

Manny Diaz issued a statement saying:

"I am profoundly appreciative of the outpouring of support shown to me, my brother-in-law Don, and my family after the loss of my brother, Jorge Diaz-Johnston. My brother was such a special gift to this world whose heart and legacy will continue to live on for generations to come," the statement read.

"I am also so very grateful to the Tallahassee Police Department with the support of Mayor Daley and City Manager Reed who have worked tirelessly to locate and investigate the circumstances surrounding my brother's disappearance. Their commitment has meant the world to my family and will continue to mean the world in our search for justice. We ask for privacy and continued prayers."

Jorge Diaz-Johnston, a former doctoral student of religion at Florida State University, and his husband Don were plaintiffs in a landmark lawsuit that led to the legalization of same-sex marriage in Miami-Dade.

"There are simply no words for the loss of my beloved husband Jorge Isaias Diaz-Johnston," wrote Don Johnston. "I can't stop crying as I try to write this. But he meant as much to all of you as he did to me. So I am fighting back tears to share with you our loss," Diaz's husband said.

The State Medical Examiner's Office conducted an autopsy. However, the results have not been made public.