Hero Down: Palm Beach Co. SO Sergeant Jose Diaz Ayala Dies From Coronavirus
Palm Beach County, FL – Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office (PBCSO) Sergeant Jose Diaz Ayala died on Saturday after contracting COVID-19.
The 38-year-old sergeant had pre-existing health issues prior to being infected by the novel coronavirus, PBCSO said in a press release.
Sgt. Diaz Ayala joined the department as a corrections deputy in July of 2006.
In January of 2016, he was promoted to the rank of sergeant.
“The sheriff’s office is extremely sad at the passing of Sergeant Diaz Ayala,” Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said in a Facebook video on Sunday. “He had an outstanding career with the agency and was respected by all of his peers.”
“Sgt. Diaz Ayala’s death illustrates the seriousness of this disease and the danger that the deputies face as they continue to serve this community,” Sheriff Bradshaw continued. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, and all of the families that have lost a loved one during this difficult time. Sgt. Diaz Ayala will be missed.”
Sgt. Diaz Ayala leaves behind his three daughters, as well as his parents and two sisters, according to the PBCSO.
His sister, Yinalis Diaz, said that her fallen brother was her “hero,” according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
“You were always looking out for me. You were the only best brother in life,” she said. “I have lived many terrible things but no pain compares to your departure."
Sgt. Diaz Ayala’s former wife, Grisel Pineda, said that their daughters “were everything to him,” according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
“This has been the toughest thing I’ve ever had to do,” Pineda said. “All the girls are grieving so differently right now. He is going to be deeply, deeply missed.”
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Jose Diaz Ayala, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.