Guerrero indicted by grand jury

Former resident faces child porn charge, 9-year-old girl still missing

OKEECHOBEE — A former Okeechobee resident who is a person of interest in the disappearance of a 9-year-old Fort Myers girl has been indicted by a federal grand jury.

Manuel Guerrero-Torres

Manuel Guerrero-Torres

Jorge Manuel Guerrero-Torres, 28, was indicted on one count of possessing child pornography and one count of coercing “… a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing” a visual depiction that was produced using materials mailed, shipped and transported by interstate and foreign commerce including a computer.

The grand jury returned the true bill Wednesday, June 15, in U.S. District Court for the Middle Division of Florida – Fort Myers Division.

Guerrero was arrested Monday, June 6, by the Innocent Images Task Force of the Fort Myers FBI Field Office on one count of possession of child pornography. Pictures of a nude female were allegedly found on his cell phone.

He is being held in the Lee County Jail without bond. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has also placed a hold on Guerrero.

Guerrero is also a person of interest in the May 29 disappearance of Diana Alvarez from her Fort Myers home.

The girl has not been found even though many local, state and federal law enforcement agencies have combed rural areas of Okeechobee, Glades and Osceola counties. Among those areas were cane fields in Glades County, as well as areas in western Osceola County.

Law enforcement agencies have utilized helicopters and cadaver K-9s in their searches.

According to a criminal complaint by Lee County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Sergeant Jody Payne, who is also a member of the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force, Guerrero and his brother lived with the missing child and her parents at their Fort Myers home for several months.

But, Guerrero and his brother had recently moved out and were now living in Orlando.

Sgt. Payne documented in his report how Guerrero left his Orlando home on the evening of May 28 and drove to the Fort Myers area. He was reportedly in the area of the child’s home from midnight until 3 a.m. on May 29.

Diana was reported missing around 7:34 a.m.

Guerrero was located in Okeechobee County on June 3 and was taken into custody “… as a result of his lack of lawful immigration status in the United States,” stated Sgt. Payne’s complaint.

He was later taken to Lee County.

When Guerrero was taken into custody, stated Sgt. Payne, he no longer had his Samsung cell phone which had been instrumental in locating him.

That phone was then tracked to Daytona where a landscaper told investigators he had found the phone in a ditch in Orange County. The landscaper went on to tell investigators a person named Jorge had called the phone and told the man he could keep it, added Sgt. Payne.

The phone was turned over to law enforcement and on June 5 a forensic examination was done on the phone. That exam turned up a number of “selfies” of Guerrero as well as “… multiple images of child pornography,” stated the complaint.

Sgt. Payne went on to indicate in his complaint that the child, and/or children, on the phone have not yet been identified.

The federal indictment also orders that Guerrero’s cell phone will be surrendered to federal authorities.

Eric Kopp is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News

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