Post submitted by Gabe Murchison, former Senior Research Manager
This post was updated on November 7, 2017, and again on January 25, 2018, to reflect the latest news on the suspect.
HRC was horrified to learn that Kenne McFadden, a 27-year-old transgender woman, was murdered weeks ago in San Antonio. McFadden’s body was found on April 9 in the San Antonio River, but police have only now announced that her death was a homicide.
San Antonio police, who misgendered McFadden in this week’s announcement, believe she was pushed into the river, which runs through downtown San Antonio. Early reports stated that the department had said it has identified a person of interest, who was acquainted with the victim. MySA.com reported that person is already in custody on another charge, though these reports are unconfirmed.
On January 25, 2018, 19-year-old Mark Daniel Lewis was charged with manslaughter in McFadden's murder, which is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, according to Spectrum News in San Antonio.
A high-school friend of McFadden described her as assertive, charismatic and lovable, calling her “everything you would expect in a friend.” On her Facebook profile, Kenne wrote that she worked as a waitress, and posted videos of herself singing.
McFadden is at least the twelfth transgender person killed in the U.S. this year. (One of those victims, a North Carolina woman, was attacked in 2016 but died of her injuries in May.) Nearly all of those victims, like McFadden, have been Black women. In November, HRC and the Trans People of Color Coalition published A Matter of Life and Death, a report that explores how racism and misogyny interact to put transgender women of color at disproportionate risk for murder.
Though McFadden is the first transgender person known to have been killed in Texas this year, her loss is the seventh such case for the state since 2013. Charges were filed in most of those cases, though the 2013 murder of 34-year-old Konyale Madden remains unsolved.
HRC extends sincere condolences to Ms. McFadden’s loved ones.
To learn more about HRC’s work to prevent anti-transgender violence, click here.