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After 4 Years, Remains of Missing Fla. Girl Found

Prosecutors will seek death penalty in Diana Alvarez murder case
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 18, 2020 4:09 AM CDT

(Newser) – Four years after she disappeared from her Florida home in the middle of the night, the body of 9-year-old Diana Alvarez has been found. The Lee County Sheriff’s Office tells the Daily Beast that the girl's remains were found by surveyors in a wooded area of Osceola County. Investigators believe she was murdered by Jorge Guerrero-Torres, a 32-year-old former friend of her family. He admitted sexually assaulting the girl on a regular basis and is currently serving 40 years on child pornography charges brought after investigators found images of Diana on his phone. He was indicted on a first-degree murder charge in May 2018 and prosecutors say they will now seek the death penalty.

"The monster that committed this horrendous crime is behind bars and will now be brought to justice for the murder of Diana Alvarez," Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno said, per NBC. "This does not bring Diana back, but I hope this helps bring closure to the family." She said officers spent "hundreds of hours" searching for Diana's body and "never stopped looking." A cause of death has not been determined yet. Authorities say the start of Guerrero-Torres' trial will be delayed for months because of the coronavirus outbreak. (Read more Florida stories.)

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