Family of Diana Alvarez pleads for new leads in girl's disappearance

Posted at 1:30 PM, Jul 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-19 18:40:24-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The family of a missing Fort Myers girl spoke out to the media Tuesday, pleading for help locating new leads to investigate in the case, which they say is going cold.

Rita Hernandez said she dreamt that Diana was found, Tuesday morning, but woke up to a nightmare. "She says it's been so long that she doesn't know anything and she needs to know something, she wants to know something," said Hernandez' translator, as Hernandez broke down into tears.

9-year-old Diana Alvarez went missing on May 29th from her San Carlos Park home.  Authorities later arrested Jorge Guerrero, who briefly lived in the same home as Diana, as a person of interest, but have charged him with possession of child porn, and not the girl's disappearance.

At Tuesday's conference, Diana's mother Rita says she had a video conference with Guerrero last Thursday, during which he refused to answer whether he was involved in the girl's disappearance. Hernandez says he dodged questions and acted strange, but claims he loves the family and would not do that to them. He also admit to having child pornography on his phone, but said it wasn't of Diana. "She says that he started scratching his face and acting really strange, something that she doesn't know of him being like that," said Hernandez' interpreter.

Investigators say they called off all active searches a few weeks after the disappearance, but are still working the case.  Investigators are now re-interviewing initial witnesses in Okeechobee, where Guerrero's cell phone tacked him after the disappearance.

Guerrero reportedly told investigators to look for Diana in Mexico, and the FBI is checking into it.

The family is convinced Guerrero was involved.  The family's lawyer says that people who know Guerrero are evading police. "We know that they know something and they're not revealing it," said Tom Busatta, the family's attorney.

Busatta is asking for a key witness to come forward. He wants a woman who may have seen Guerrero on I-75 to tell them specific times and locations, along with what she saw during their encounter. "When he was broken down on the side of the road, he told her to stay away from the vehicle," said Busatta.

Busatta's firm is offering an additional $5,000 reward on top of what authorities are already offering for anyone with information that leads to the arrest and conviction of parties involved with Diana's disappearance.