BALTIMORE(WJZ)– The search for a murderer continues in Baltimore City after a transgender woman is found dead. It’s the second transgender person to be found killed in Baltimore in just over a month. Rochelle Ritchie has the latest on the investigation.
Police in Baltimore City have no suspects in the victims murder, and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community shines a light on an issue of inequality especially for black transgender women.
Family members of Mia Henderson, once known as Kevin Long, confirm with WJZ this is the 26-year-old transgender woman found dead Wednesday morning.
” It was just a shock, shocking to hear,” said Stanley Johna Jr., a family member of Henderson.
Blood stained concrete, beads from a snapped necklace, and a blood stained sheet used to cover the victims body remain at the murder scene.
Henderson’s murder is the second killing involving a transgender woman this summer. In June, Kandy also known as Ricky Carlos Hall was found dead in Northeast Baltimore.
Baltimore police have not said whether or not there is a connection between Mia or Kandy’s death.
“We’re checking to see if the victims ever had any contact with each other,” said Police Commissioner Anthony Batts.
As police look for clues in both cases, they are looking into whether prostitution may have been a factor in Henderson’s death.
Supporters with Equality Maryland say the deaths reveal an underlying issue if inequality in the work force, forcing some to use sex as a means of income.
“Discrimination based on gender identity happens and it forces people into situations where they can’t find employment because people don’t like that they are transgender ,” said Keith Thirion of Equality Maryland.
Other transgender woman have come forward saying they are walking targets.
“It’s hard for us as transgender to even walk out the door these days,” said Baltimore City resident Lasaia Wade.
In 2011 cell phone video captured the brutal beating of Chrissy Polis, a transgender woman inside a McDonald’s where she is dragged by her hair across the floor.
Teonna Brown is serving a five year jail sentence for that attack.
In April of 2013, transgender woman Kelly Young was shot and killed. Her death instilled fear in her friends.
“I am like scared to walk to places by myself so I have to hang with a lot of people so the people wont get to me,” Wade said.
Baltimore City’s top cop says finding the killers of the victims regardless of their lifestyle choices is a high priority.
“I will not slow down, I will not allow us to not stay on top of this, we will push extremely hard ,” Commissioner Batts said.
City police say Henderson died of severe trauma.
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