Henry Diaz Murder – “The Perfect Murder” is an Investigation Discovery (ID) true crime television series that first premiered on April 20, 2014, and quickly captured audiences with its captivating narratives of real-life murder cases. The show takes an in-depth approach, carefully piecing together events leading up to crimes, the motivations behind them, and attempts to solve cases as part of its investigations.
Henry Diaz, a small business owner living in Miami, Florida, was tragically found murdered 12 days later in an Everglades marsh populated with alligators. Leonora Diaz reported her husband missing immediately upon hearing of his failure to return, launching an intensive search process which eventually found his lifeless body buried among alligators in an Everglades swamp.
“The Perfect Murder,” a true crime series that details real crime events such as Henry’s tragic murder and its investigation leading to its resolution, meticulously details this case in Season 3, Episode 1, entitled “The Body in the Swamp.” Specifically, viewers can dive deep into details surrounding Henry’s disappearance and efforts to locate his killers.
Through this episode, viewers can accompany investigators as they work to unravel the mystery and bring justice to Henry Diaz. It aims to uncover all aspects of the crime while giving a peek inside the perpetrator’s mind and the meticulous investigation that led to their identification.
Henry Diaz Murder Story
Henry Diaz was an esteemed figure in Miami, revered for his commitment to family and life in general. His neighbors often spoke highly of Leonora – they loved seeing how close she and Henry were, which their neighbors noted as evidenced by their deep devotion. Renowned for his generosity, he always lent a helping hand when needed while upholding strong family values that put his loved ones first. Henry was part of a second-generation Cuban-American family that took over their father’s successful grocery shop empire alongside his brother John and cousin Jimmy.
Henry also ran an impressively prosperous business, which was even more remarkable considering how fame had not diminished his relationships. Henry planned a cruise with Leonora to celebrate the holiday season in November 2004. However, on the night before they left, he informed Leonora of an employee party at work that required his presence until late.
At 11:58 PM, Leonora phoned Henry, who assured her he would arrive by midnight. Though suspicious of what might have been happening behind Leonora’s back, she decided to wait until morning if Henry still hadn’t come home. Desperate to locate Henry again, Leonora immediately reported his disappearance to authorities and offered their full cooperation in finding him. In response, law enforcement mobilized multiple search teams.
Despite extensive efforts and searches conducted across various locations, Henry was not found until police located his silver 2004 Mercedes-Benz in front of a Hialeah apartment building approximately 24 hours after his disappearance. However, no signs of damage or any other clues could be seen on it.
Days passed without significant developments until a boater approached authorities with crucial information: He claimed to have discovered a body near Alligator Alley in the Florida Everglades. Responding quickly, police located this body; upon closer examination, they noticed one arm was missing but still identified Henry Diaz through dental records. An autopsy confirmed he had been fatally shot with a 9mm pistol.
Investigation and Arrest
At first, Henry’s murder case first presented law enforcement with numerous challenges due to a lack of leads. Henry had no known enemies, and even searching the swamp proved fruitless. However, law enforcement eventually received an important clue when his credit card had been used at a nearby supermarket. The supermarket’s CCTV cameras captured an individual using Henry’s credit card as they entered and exited through it, providing law enforcement with another possible lead for their investigation.
As Henry was being pursued, his workplace security guard approached authorities, informing them that Henry had been followed earlier that day by a white van with Hispanic drivers. Initially suspecting Pablo Rivera but later clearing him, surveillance tape with Yosvani Fernandez’s image prominently featured circulated. Miami police received notification from their Hialeah counterparts that they had arrested someone matching this description in Hialeah, and they apprehended Yosvani Fernandez and took him into custody.
Yosvani initially refused to cooperate with police and denied involvement in Henry’s death. However, Catty Lopez informed authorities that Yosvani had confessed to shooting Henry and had abandoned their vehicle outside her apartment shortly after committing this act of violence. Subsequently, Michael Rojas-Perez surrendered and admitted his participation but claimed Yosvani had coerced him into carrying it out. Additionally, forensic evidence linked Yosvani directly to this event, giving police grounds for arresting and charging both suspects.
Prosecution of Yosvani Fernandez and Michael Rojas-Perez for Murder
Yosvani was brought before a judge and eventually pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and robbery with firearms or other dangerous weapons, earning a prison sentence of 25 years in 2011. As for Michael, who admitted to being an accessory after the fact, an 18-year sentence was handed out the following year. Upon becoming eligible for parole in 2018, Michael was eventually released.
Michael successfully secured parole, while Yosvani’s projected release date is 2026. Currently incarcerated at Avon Park Correctional Institution located in Avon Park, Florida, and bound by parolee conditions to remain within Florida upon his release, Yosvani is set for an estimated release date in 2026.