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TEAM COVERAGE: Child's family grieves as deal for accused killer stalls in court

Family speaks to Fox 4 with thoughts a plea deal falling through.
Posted at 11:12 PM, Mar 04, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-04 23:12:41-05

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Monday was a difficult day at the Lee County Court for the family of 9-year-old Diana Alvarez. The man, accused of kidnapping and killing her in 2016, did not take a plea deal, as expected.

FOX 4 checked in with the family after this decision, still working through their emotion almost a decade later.

Jorge Manuel Guerrero was immediately a suspect in the case. The family says he was a roommate at the time of Diana's disappearance.

Rita Hernandez is Diana's mother, who was holding on to this picture of her in court Monday.

Diana Alvarez

"The pain... I'm going to carry, wherever I go the pain is always going to be with me. I'll never forget my daughter."

Guerrero, accused of kidnapping and killing the San Carlos Park girl in 2016, was expected to take a plea deal.

Instead, the defense said he did not understand some of the deal, and the deal was off.

Now, they will head back to court on March 14 to either talk about a trial, or potentially another plea deal.

"I'm grateful for the people who were there that day to search for her, with all my heart," Hernandez said.

She says she still believes this is the start of a final push for justice for little Diana.