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Investigators return to Osceola Co. in search for missing Diana Alvarez

Nearly four years after a 9-year-old San Carlos Park girl vanished from her home, Lee County deputies have returned to the site of a previous investigation into her disappearance.

Deputies from Lee, Osceola and Broward counties on Friday were in Yeehaw Junction, 140 miles from where Diana Alvarez was last seen in May 2016.

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office said Friday that detectives are following up on information received in the case.

Their investigation Friday centered on a wooded area of US-441. The medical examiner, a mobile command unit and a crime scene unit were at the scene.

The only suspect in the disappearance is Jorge Guerrero-Torres, who has been indicted on a charge of first-degree murder even though Diana’s body has not been found.

Lee County deputies previously conducted a search in Yeehaw Junction in the summer of 2016 and again in 2017, but found nothing.

The area was of interest because Guerrero-Torres, who was named in the AMBER Alert for Alvarez, was heading to Okeechobee, then north toward Yeehaw Junction shortly after the girl went missing, according to court documents. He eventually tossed his cell phone in an apartment complex in Orlando, where it was later found by a maintenance worker.

Diana’s mom, Rita, on Friday wore a shirt with her daughter’s name on it. She said investigators told her Thursday night they had new information, but they didn’t tell her what it is.

“I would rather know than not know because four years without knowing anything about her is difficult. It’s hard,” she said.

Guerrero-Torres admitted to deputies that he took obscene pictures of Diana on his phone and touched her inappropriately on a weekly basis in 2015 while he was living in her San Carlos Park home, court documents show.

The investigation eventually led to probable cause to charge Guerrero-Torres in Diana’s disappearance.

Guerrero-Torres was sentenced in August 2017 to 40 years in federal prison for possessing child pornography.

Writer:Jackie Winchester
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