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Roommate of gay activist who was found strangled to death indicted for his murder

The roommate of a gay rights activist who was found dead in a Florida landfill earlier this year has been arrested and charged with murder.

On Thursday, a grand jury indicted Steven Yinger, 36, with first degree murder for the gruesome murder of Jorge Diaz-Johnston, 54, the brother of former Miami mayor Manny Diaz, who had been missing since Jan. 3.

About a week after his disappearance, Diaz-Johnston was discovered in a dump in a landfill in Baker, Florida, about 60 miles east of the Alabama border, Tallahassee Police Department announced Jan. 12.

The indictment alleges that Yinger strangled Diaz-Johnston before moving his body and stealing his BMW and iPhone. Yinger is currently being held without bail.

Yinger was also charged with tampering with evidence, theft of Diaz-Johnston’s belongings and fraudulent use of Diaz-Johnston’s personal information, according to the Washington Post

The murder reportedly happened after an argument between the housemates after Yinger allowed a meth-addicted friend to stay in their house for an extended period of time.

Jorge apparently tried to have Yinger removed from the apartment as a result – which authorities say caused Yinger to snap, court documents.

A man identified in court records as “Raheem” ​​told police he found it odd that Yinger was still living in the apartment, especially after Jorge was reported missing.

Court documents also state that Yinger told several stories about Jorge’s whereabouts around the time of his death.

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Pictured: Mugshot for Steven Yinger, 36, who is currently being held without bail in connection with the death of his roommate, gay rights activist Jorge Diaz-Johnston

Pictured: Mugshot for Steven Yinger, 36, who is currently being held without bail in connection with the death of his roommate, gay rights activist Jorge Diaz-Johnston

Jorge Diaz-Johnston, pictured, was discovered in a dump in a landfill in Baker, Florida, about 60 miles east of the Alabama border, Tallahassee Police Department announced Jan. 12.

Jorge Diaz-Johnston, pictured, was discovered in a dump in a landfill in Baker, Florida, about 60 miles east of the Alabama border, Tallahassee Police Department announced Jan. 12.

Yinger, pictured, reportedly strangled Diaz-Johnston before moving his body and stole his BMW and iPhone

Yinger, pictured, reportedly strangled Diaz-Johnston before moving his body and stole his BMW and iPhone

He told Raheem that Jorge had gone to Don’s house because the couple had gotten back together, but Don told the police that this was not true.

Yinger also told his girlfriend that Jorge was in Miami, but she noted that it was strange when she heard Jorge’s phone ring in the apartment the men shared on January 5, several days after he went missing.

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

Former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz mourned his brother in a heartfelt post after the body was discovered.

“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,” former Mayor Diaz, 68, wrote of his brother at the time his brother was killed. body was discovered.

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

Diaz-Johnston had been married to his husband, Don Diaz-Johnston, 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, going on to be among the first to marry the following year.

Yinger was also charged with tampering with evidence, theft of Diaz-Johnston's belongings and fraudulent use of Diaz-Johnston's personal information.

Yinger was also charged with tampering with evidence, theft of Diaz-Johnston’s belongings and fraudulent use of Diaz-Johnston’s personal information.

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

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

1642228285 842 Missing gay rights activist and brother of former Miami mayor

“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 just no words for the loss of my beloved husband Jorge Isaias Diaz-Johnston,” Don wrote when Jorge’s body was discovered.

“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, but according to court documents, the couple divorced and were living apart at the time of Jorge’s death.

“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.

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

1642228289 241 Missing gay rights activist and brother of former Miami mayor

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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