Grand jury indicts Jorge Guerrero-Torres with 1st-degree murder of Diana Alvarez
A grand jury has returned an indictment for multiple charges against Jorge Guerrero-Torres, the state attorney’s office announced Thursday.
The State Attorney’s Office held a press conference, along with members of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.
The grand jury returned an indictment for Guerrero-Torres on First-Degree Murder, Kidnapping, and Lewd and Lascivious Molestation in the death of Diana Alvarez, 9, of San Carlos Park, who went missing nearly two years ago, according to Chief Assistant State Attorney Amira Fox.
Guerrero-Torres was found guilty on May 16, 2017 of producing and possessing lewd images of Alvarez and was later sentenced to 40 years in prison.
Guerrero-Torres will remain in the Lee County Jail until trial for these new charges, investigators said. If convicted, he would first serve his sentence in state prison before being transferred to federal prison to serve his additional sentence.
Guerrero-Torres’ arraignment is scheduled for May 7.
Undersheriff Carmine Marceno said he hopes the indictment would help Diana’s family begin the road to healing.
“We know today that we will never bring Diana back, but we also hope we bring some closure to the family,” Marceno said.
A mother’s reaction
Hernandez expressed her frustration Wednesday afternoon during a press conference, hours after the state attorney’s office announced a grand jury returned an indictment against Guerrero-Torres.
Hernandez is heartbroken, but said she wouldn’t “wish this on anyone.”
Hernandez said she’s happy Guerrero-Torres will never be able to be able to hurt another child, but fundamentally disagrees with the maximum punishment he faces.
Hernandez said if she could choose, she’d ask for the death penalty.
“If my daughter is not alive, then he doesn’t deserve to be alive,” Hernandez said.
When asked if Hernandez wanted crews to keep searching for Diana’s body, she responded: “Why keep searching?” As she’s come to terms with the unnerving realization that her daughter is gone.
‘We’re not gonna quit’
Michael Hadsell, president of Peace River K9 Search and Rescue, identified one key piece of evidence investigators are missing: a body.
“I’m surprised that the murder one charge, but if they feel they’ve got enough evidence to do that, good for them,” Hadsell said.
The search for Diana has been ongoing after two organizations announced in May they’d restart their pursuit, and for their efforts will not waiver.
“We’re not gonna quit until we do find her, one way or another, we will find her,” Hadsell said.
Search tactics include retracing and tracking Guerrero-Torres’ past movements in places like Central Florida.
“We’ve been searching mostly off Highway 60, and that was one of the last area’s that his cell phones were pinging,” Hadsell said.
Hadsell added how the dry conditions could provide an advantage in the search.
“Right now it’s dry so it gives us access to a lot of areas we didn’t have access to last year,” Hadsell said.
Hadsell spoke fondly of Rita Hernandez, Diana’s mother, and expressed his dedication to continue the search.
“We are in this for mom, so we will stay in it until the end,” Hadsell said.
Authorities still haven’t found her body.
Eighty-eight percent of cases without a body result in convictions, according to the U.S. attorney’s office. 31 cases have resulted in capital punishment.
“Lee County is a great agency and they’ll do what they have to do to bring this case to a resolution,” Hadsell said.