A grand jury in Leon County, Florida formally indicted Steven Yinger for the murder of LGBTQ and gay marriage activist Jorge Diaz-Johnston last week. According to court documents, Yinger is accused of “strangling and/or choking” Diaz-Johnston sometime between Jan. 3 and Jan. 5 in addition to stealing Diaz-Johnston’s car, using his personal identification and tampering with evidence.
Diaz-Johnston’s body was found in the Springhill Landfill, roughly 90 miles from his workplace in Tallahassee where he was last seen on Jan. 3. According to the Tallahassee Democrat, Tallahassee Police believe Yinger disposed of the body in a dumpster outside of the apartment complex where the two had lived together for months and moved the dumpster down the street.
Diaz-Johnston met Yinger at an alcohol-recovery program while separated from his husband, Don, with whom he became a public face for LGBTQ marriage equality in the state back in 2015. Diaz-Johnston offered to let Yinger stay at his apartment rent-free in order to get back on his feet and find employment after getting out of prison in Oct. 2021.
“[T]hat’s who Jorge was,” Don told local news outlet WPLG. “I am so angry. After all those years of trying to get my husband back, to have him ripped form me for such an utterly senseless reason.” Yinger is being held without bail in a Leon County prison.
Diaz-Johnston was brother of former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz and the uncle of former University of Miami football coach Manny Diaz II.
Murder: Previously on Towleroad
Photo courtesy of Tallahassee Police Department