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

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

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

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

Jorge Diaz-Johnston, 54, the brother of the mayor of Miami from 2001 to 2009, who had been missing since Jan. 3, was discovered in a dump in a landfill in Baker, Florida, about 60 miles east of the Alabama border. The Tallahassee Police Department announced this on Wednesday.

“I am deeply grateful for the outpouring of support to me, my brother-in-law Don and my family following 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 live on for generations to come.”

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

No arrests were made as of Saturday morning and police say an investigation is underway.

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

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Pictured: A landfill in Baker, Florida, about 60 miles east of the Alabama border, where Jorge Diaz-Johnston, brother of the former mayor of Miami, was discovered in a garbage dump

Pictured: A landfill in Baker, Florida, about 60 miles east of the Alabama border, where Jorge Diaz-Johnston, brother of the former mayor of Miami, was discovered in a garbage dump

Pictured: A landfill in Baker, Florida, about 60 miles east of the Alabama border, where Jorge Diaz-Johnston, brother of the former mayor of Miami, was discovered in a garbage dump

Jorge Diaz-Johnston, 54 (right), was found dead Friday in a Florida landfill.  He and his husband Don (left) are pictured awaiting a talk with media and supporters after a 2014 same-sex marriage court hearing

Jorge Diaz-Johnston, 54 (right), was found dead Friday in a Florida landfill.  He and his husband Don (left) are pictured awaiting a talk with media and supporters after a 2014 same-sex marriage court hearing

Jorge Diaz-Johnston, 54 (right), was found dead Friday in a Florida landfill. He and his husband Don (left) are pictured awaiting a talk with media and supporters after a 2014 same-sex marriage court hearing

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

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

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

“I am deeply grateful for the outpouring of support shown to me, my brother-in-law Don and my family following the loss of my brother, Jorge Diaz-Johnston,” Diaz wrote of his brother.

“There are simply no words for the loss of my beloved husband Jorge Isaias Diaz-Johnston,” Don wrote.

“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 fight through the tears to share with you our loss of him.”

The two married shortly after winning the high-profile lawsuit in March 2015.

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

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

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

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

They were one of five other same-sex couples to sue the Miami-Dade County Clerk's Office in 2014 after being denied the opportunity to marry.

They were one of five other same-sex couples to sue the Miami-Dade County Clerk's Office in 2014 after being denied the opportunity to marry.

They were one of five other same-sex couples to sue the Miami-Dade County Clerk’s Office in 2014 after being denied the opportunity to marry.

Pictured: Diaz-Johnston and his husband, Don

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 of LGBTQ rights in the city.

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

“His tragic loss will be deeply felt 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 had to fight to get married, only to end up in tragedy.

“They fought so hard to capture their love and enjoy the institution of marriage, and for the marriage to end this way — in this horrifying, heartbreaking way — there are no words,” said Schwartz. .

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