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Missing man found dead in landfill was integral in Florida marriage equality

According to Equality Florida, Jorge Diaz-Johnston and his husband Don were integral in overturning a gay marriage ban in Florida in 2015.
Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 9:45 AM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV/Gray News) - Jorge Diaz-Johnston, 54, was found dead at a landfill in Jackson County over the weekend after going missing from Tallahassee, said police.

His death is now being investigated as a homicide, WCTV reported.

Authorities said they believe his body ended up at the Campbellton-area landfill after being picked up from a public garbage site in Okaloosa County.

A missing person poster put out by Tallahassee Police said Diaz-Johnston was last seen on Jan. 3.

Diaz-Johnston was a well-known figure in the LGBTQ community. According to Equality Florida, he and his husband Don Johnston were integral in overturning a gay marriage ban in Florida in 2015.

“We are heartbroken to learn of the death of Jorge Diaz. Jorge and his husband Don Johnston were two of the brave plaintiffs who took on Florida’s anti-gay marriage ban and helped in marriage equality for all Floridians. Our deepest condolences to Don and Jorge’s extended family,” said Nadine Smith, executive director of Equality Florida.

A video on the organization’s YouTube page from January 2014 shows a press conference the couple held when they announced their “Freedom to Marry” lawsuit.

According to a close family friend, Johnston was a paralegal. He went missing without his vehicle, and it is a mystery as to how he ended up in Okaloosa County.

Detectives have asked anyone who may have information to call 850-891-4200, or make an anonymous to CrimeStoppers at 850-574-TIPS.

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