TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WMBB/WFLA) — The brother of former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz was found dead in a Florida landfill, and now authorities are investigating his death as a homicide.
Jorge Diaz-Johnston, 54, had been last seen alive on Jan. 3, Tallahassee Police officials said.
He’s also uncle to former Miami Hurricanes football coach Manny Diaz, Jr.
Tallahassee police reported Diaz-Johnston missing five days later on Saturday, Jan. 8. That same day, workers found Diaz-Johnston’s body at the Springhill Landfill in Campbellton.
His body was reportedly dumped with a load of trash at the Baker landfill in Okaloosa County.
Diaz-Johnston was studying for his doctorate in religion at Florida State University.
In 2014, he and his husband-to-be, Don Price Johnston, joined five other couples in a landmark lawsuit against Miami-Dade County to legalize same-sex marriages.
They won the case, and Miami-Dade became the first county in Florida to do so.
Manny Diaz released a statement on Thursday regarding his brother’s death:
“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. I am also so very grateful to the Tallahassee Police Department – with the support of Mayor Dailey and City Manager Goad – 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.”
Authorities have not said how or where Diaz-Johnston was killed, nor how his body wound up in Baker and Campbellton.
However, investigators reported they are treating this case as a homicide.