Grand jury indicts former roommate of LGBTQ advocate in his murder

A grand jury has issued an indictment in the murder of prominent LGBTQ advocate Jorge Diaz-Johnston.

MIAMI – A grand jury has issued an indictment in the murder of prominent LGBTQ advocate Jorge Diaz-Johnston.

The indictment came as no surprise to family members.

Police zeroed in on Diaz-Johnston’s roommate, Steven Yinger, from the beginning, but they were keeping it under wraps.

When Local 10 News sat down with Diaz-Johnston’s husband Don Johnston a few weeks ago, we promised we would keep it under wraps, too…until there was an indictment.

“I am so angry. After all those years of trying to get my husband back, to have him ripped from me for such an utterly senseless reason,” Johnston said.

According to the indictment, Diaz-Johnston was strangled at his duplex and left behind as garbage.

His remains were discovered at a landfill two hours away on Jan. 8, a day after he was reported missing.

Diaz-Johnston’s roommate, who was an acquaintance from an alcohol recovery program that he took in while separated from Don, has now been charged in his murder.

“That’s how he knows Steven Yinger,” Johnston said. “Jorge’s struggles with that are in inevitable part of the story.”

Diaz-Johnston’s murder made international news because of his and Johnston’s place in human rights history.

The 2015 headlines of how they won the legal right to marry in Miami-Dade County hang on Johnston’s wall.

“The grieving has been difficult,” Johnston said “One of the results of the circus and attention, it has delayed it. I still have to remind myself even this morning Jorge is gone.”

In that grief, Johnston had to deal with a vacuum of public information, and speculation.

He hadn’t known Diaz-Johnston was missing until days after, only mildly worried until Yinger told friends and family conflicting stories.

“Jorge didn’t charge him rent, never had expectations, until he could get a job and support himself and that’s who Jorge was,” Johnston said.

Diaz-Johnston was the brother of former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz and the uncle of Manny Diaz II, the former coach of the University of Miami Hurricanes.

About the Author:

Glenna Milberg joined Local 10 News in September 1999 to report on South Florida's top stories and community issues. She also serves as co-host on Local 10's public affairs broadcast, "This Week in South Florida."