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Tallahassee man found dead identified as LGBTQ advocate; part of Florida same-sex marriage lawsuit

The death is now being investigated as a homicide.
Couples, left to right; Cathy Pareto with Karla Arguello, David Price, and Don Johnston and Jorge Diaz, celebrate as Circuit Judge Sarah Zabel lifts a stay on her July ruling that Florida's same-sex marriage ban violates equal protections under the U.S. Constitution, Monday Jan. 5, 2015, allowing same-sex couples to marry.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Jorge Diaz-Johnston, 54, was found dead at a Jackson County landfill Saturday after he went missing in early January, according to multiple reports.

His body is believed to have ended up in the landfill after being picked up from a public garbage site in Okaloosa County, WCTV reports.

The death is now being investigated as a homicide.

Diaz-Johnston is a well-known figure in the LGBTQ community. He was a plaintiff in the milestone Miami-Dade County same-sex marriage lawsuit, the Miami Herald reports.

He and his husband, Don Diaz-Jonhston, were "integral in overturning [the] gay marriage ban in Florida in 2015," WCTV explains.

“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," Executive Director of Equality Florida Nadine Smith said in a statement to WCTV. 

"Our deepest condolences to Don and Jorge’s extended family.”

His husband Don Diaz-Jonhston posted a message on Facebook Wednesday morning.

"There are just no words for the loss of my beloved husband Jorge Isaias Diaz-Johnston," he wrote. "He touched so many people with his kind and generous heart."

Florida Democratic Party Chair Manny Diaz, who is Jorge Diaz-Johnston's brother, also released a statement on Twitter thanking police and other city leaders for investigating his brother's disappearance.

"I am profoundly appreciative of the outpouring of support shown to me, my brother-in-law Don, and my family after the loss of my brother, Jorge Diaz-Johnston," he wrote. "My brother was such a special gift to this world whose heart and legacy will continue to live on for generations to come."

Detectives ask for anyone with information about the incident to call the Tallahassee Police Department at 850-891-4200 or remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 850-574-8477.