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Missing gay rights activist and brother of former Miami mayor found dead in a landfill in homicide

Gay rights activist Diaz-Johnston, pictured, was found dead in a landfill in Florida

A missing gay rights activist and the brother of former Miami mayor Many Diaz was found dead in a Florida landfill on Saturday, and authorities are investigating the death as a homicide. 

Jorge Diaz-Johnston, 54, the brother to the Mayor of Miami from 2001 to 2009, who had been missing since January 3, was discovered in a trash pile at a landfill in Baker, Florida, roughly 60 miles east of the Alabama border, Tallahassee police announced on Wednesday.

‘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,’ former mayor Diaz, 68, wrote of his brother.

‘My brother was such a special gift to this world whose heart and legacy will continue to live on for generations to come.’ 

Diaz-Johnston’s body was found the same day a missing persons report was filed by concerned family. 

No arrests have been made as of Saturday morning, and police said an investigation is ongoing. 

Diaz-Johnston had been married to his husband, Don Diaz-Johnston, 51, since March 2015. They were among five other same-sex couples who sued the Miami-Dade County Clerk’s Office in 2014 after they were denied the ability to get married. 

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Pictured: A landfill in Baker, Florida, roughly 60 miles east of the Alabama border, where Jorge Diaz-Johnston, the brother to former mayor of Miami, was discovered in a trash pile

Pictured: A landfill in Baker, Florida, roughly 60 miles east of the Alabama border, where Jorge Diaz-Johnston, the brother to former mayor of Miami, was discovered in a trash pile

Jorge Diaz-Johnston, 54 (right), was found dead on Friday in a Florida landfill. He and his husband Don (left) are pictured waiting to speak to the media and supporters after a court hearing on gay marriage in 2014

Jorge Diaz-Johnston, 54 (right), was found dead on Friday in a Florida landfill. He and his husband Don (left) are pictured waiting to speak to the media and supporters after a court hearing on gay marriage in 2014

Former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, pictured, brother to slain Diaz-Johnston, speaks as he introduces Democratic presidential candidate, former NYC mayor Mike Bloomberg, in 2020

Former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, pictured, brother to slain Diaz-Johnston, speaks as he introduces Democratic presidential candidate, former NYC mayor Mike Bloomberg, in 2020

'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,' Diaz wrote of his brother

‘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,’ Diaz wrote of his brother

‘There are just no words for the loss of my beloved husband Jorge Isaias Diaz-Johnston,’ Don wrote. 

‘I can’t stop crying as I try and write this. But he meant so much to all of you as he did to me. So I am fighting through the tears to share with you our loss of him.’

The two were married shortly after winning the high-profile court case in March 2015. 

‘For us, it’s not just only a question of love and wanting to express our love and have the benefits that everyone else has in the state, but it’s an issue of equality, and it’s a civil rights issue,’ Jorge Diaz-Johnston said at the time, according to NBC Miami. 

He had been married to his husband, Don Diaz-Johnston, 51, since March 2015

He had been married to his husband, Don Diaz-Johnston, 51, since March 2015 

They were among five other same-sex couples who sued the Miami-Dade County Clerk's Office in 2014 after they were denied the ability to get married

They were among five other same-sex couples who sued the Miami-Dade County Clerk’s Office in 2014 after they were denied the ability to get married

Pictured: Diaz-Johnston and his husband, Don

Pictured: Diaz-Johnston and his husband, Don

 

Daniella Levine Cava, the current mayor of Miami, praised Diaz-Johnston’s for his advocacy role for LGBTQ rights in the city.

‘In Jorge Diaz-Johnston, we lost a champion, a leader, and a fighter for our LGBTQ community,’ she tweeted. 

‘His tragic loss will be felt profoundly by all who loved him, as we honor his life and legacy.’

Elizabeth Schwartz, who represented the six couples in the case, noted how hard they two had to fight just to marry, only for it to end in tragedy. 

‘They fought so hard for their love to be enshrined and to be able to enjoy the institution of marriage, and for the marriage to end in this way – in this gruesome, heartbreaking way – there are no words,’ Schwartz said. 


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