The Tallahassee Police Department announced that the case of a gay man found in a landfill will be going to a grand jury, reports the Tallahassee Democrat.
The death of Jorge Diaz-Johnston, who was a plaintiff in Miami-Dade’s landmark ruling to legalize same-sex marriage, is being considered a homicide.
Assistant State Attorney Jon Fuchs declined to share with the Democrat if a suspect was in custody.
In a Facebook post on Jan. 9, the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office shared that Jorge’s body was found in the trash at 9:30 a.m. The driver was on his way to collect another load of trash when he was told to call law enforcement. The trash came from a bay at the landfill that can be accessed by the public.
Diaz-Johnston was found dead the morning of Jan. 8 when his body was discovered in a landfill about an hour away from Florida’s capital city. Local 10 reported at the time that his husband, Don Diaz-Johnston, did not report his husband missing for five days and was not being ruled out as a suspect.
However, WFSU reported on Feb. 11 that the couple was apparently separated at the time. It was also discovered that his roommate, Steven Yinger, was arrested the day after his body was found. He was charged with theft, trespassing, resisting arrest and possession of drug paraphernalia.
On Jan. 12 on Facebook, Don shared, “I can’t stop crying as I try to 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.” Jorge’s funeral was two days later at Church of the Little Flower in Coral Gables.
Jorge was also the brother of former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, who tweeted, “My brother was such a special gift to this world whose heart and legacy will continue to live on for generations to come.”
In 2014, the Diaz-Johnstons and five other couples sued Miami-Dade County alongside Equality Florida for the right to marry. According to an interview with the couple by SFGN, the two met on Match.com and Johnston later proposed. Same-sex marriage became legal in Miami-Dade County on January 5, 2015, and the next day it was legalized in the state of Florida. The couple was married in March that year.
"Jorge was a crucial part of this historic lawsuit that's one of the biggest moments of the LGBTQ civil rights movement in Florida history," Stratton Pollitzer, deputy director of Equality Florida, told the Tallahassee Democrat. "It's incomprehensible to hear that one of our heroes has been taken from us.”