Brother of former Miami mayor found dead in Florida landfill

Florida News

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WMBB) — There’s a new twist in the case of the man whose body was found at a Jackson County landfill last Saturday.

On Wednesday, the Tallahassee Police Department identified the victim as Jorge Diaz-Johnston, 54, the brother of former Miami mayor and Florida Democratic Party Chairman Manny Diaz. Diaz-Johnston is also the uncle to former Miami Hurricanes football coach Manny Diaz, Jr.

The last time anyone reportedly saw Diaz-Johnston was Jan. 3. On Jan. 8, Tallahassee police reported him missing. That same day, workers found Diaz-Johnston’s body at the Springhill Landfill in Campbellton, Florida.

Diaz-Johnston’s body was reportedly dumped with a load of trash that came from a Baker landfill in Okaloosa County. He was studying for his doctorate degree in religion at Florida State University.

In 2014, Diaz-Johnston 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.

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