Since 2013, the Human Rights Campaign has tracked incidents of fatal violence against transgender and gender non-conforming people. HRC works to shed light on this epidemic of violence in order to ensure victims’ lives are remembered with dignity, and to work to end the stigma that so many trans and gender non-conforming people face. HRC confirms these cases working with local advocates, the media and sometimes law enforcement.
In doing this work, there are some cases that surface that are unclear -- and insufficient information is available to determine inclusion in our formal recording. In these cases, HRC works to monitor developments closely and calls for further investigation into the causes and circumstances surrounding their deaths.
HRC is currently monitoring the deaths of the transgender and gender non-conforming people listed below. This post will be updated as we receive additional information. These victims, like all of us, are loving partners, parents, family members, friends and community members. They worked, went to school and attended houses of worship. We mourn their loss.
Skylar Harrison Reeves
Skylar Harrison Reeves, a 30-year-old Black transgender woman, was found dead on October 20, 2023, in a secluded section of Marvin Gaye Park in Washington, DC partially naked on a park bench. Skylar’s aunt, Rhonda Hailes, remembers her niece’s vibrant spirit saying, “She has been shunned and persecuted all her life for being who she is. Yet my niece, she was a beautiful beacon of life. She could have been in the darkest room and shined it bright.” Given the rise in Black trans murders, Rhonda expressed her disbelief in the DC Police Department’s assessment that Skylar overdosed noting, “The way my niece was found, it was a hate crime. Her purse, her phone, her credit cards, all of that stuff was gone.” Skylar’s friends and family set up a GoFundMe to cover funeral costs and raise awareness surrounding the deaths of Black trans women in the DMV area. The Human Rights Campaign extends our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Skylar Harrison Reeves and stands with them as they continue to pursue answers regarding her death.
HRC has learned of community reports that Bre’Asia Bankz, a 28-year-old Black non-binary person who used she/her pronouns, may have been shot and killed in Casa Grande, Arizona on September 5, 2023. Little is known about the circumstances of her death, as there has been no media coverage, and crucially, no official statements from authorities. A GoFundMe was created to raise funds for her funeral expenses, in which her boyfriend was accused of ending her life.What information we do have on Bre’Asia comes from her loved ones, who describe her as a loving dog owner, and as someone who “loved and lived life to the fullest...and would give you her last.” HRC joins Bre’Asia’s family in mourning her death, and echos their calls for authorities and the media to bring her killer to justice.
Lovely Page, aka Lewis Page
Lovely Page, also known as Lewis Page, age unknown, was shot and killed in Chicago, Illinois on August 16th, 2023. A parent and grandparent, Page grew up in Chicago. As reported in the media, which repeatedly misgenders Page, their killer, and specific circumstances of their death, remain unknown. While media reports, authorities, and family members have referred to Page as “Lewis” and used he/him pronouns, including describing them as a “Black gay man,” in one of Page’s social media profiles, they refer to themselves as Lovely, use she/her pronouns, and present themselves in photos in traditionally feminine attire (another profile uses the name Lewis). Friends also identified them as Lovely, leading some advocates to describe them as gender non-conforming, or part of the trans community in some way. HRC joins Lovely’s family in mourning this senseless tragedy, and calls on the Chicago police department and other authorities to continue investigating their death.
Fernielle ‘Mary’ Mora
Fernielle ‘Mary’ Mora, a 26-year old transgender woman of color, was found dead in her Bronx apartment on July 6, 2023, following repeated threats to her life. One friend remembered Mora in a social media post following her July 29th memorial service: “her vibrancy, her laugh, her femininity, her fight, her style, her unapologetic trans-ness, she was really something.” Mora’s loved ones have been outspoken about the lack of a proper investigation that has followed her death — the detective assigned to her case went on vacation the day after her body was found, which delayed the investigation by two weeks. Her loved ones have set up a GoFundMe to assist with the financial burdens of the memorial service. The Human Rights Campaign extends our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Fernielle Mora, and stands with them as they seek the justice that they and Mora deserve.
Om(e) Gandhi, a 16-year old in Salt Lake City, Utah was tragically shot and killed by their father in a on May 16, 2023. Their father, Parth Gandhi, then allegedly turned the gun on himself and died by suicide. Authorities note that Gandhi’s father had been involved in a lengthy custody battle with his ex-wife/Gandhi’s mother Leah Moses prior to the murder-suicide, with Moses repeatedly accusing Parth of being abusive and violent. However, shortly after their death, a friend posted on TikTok that Gandhi was a transgender girl who went by Ome, and that they had been killed by their father after coming out to him; to date, all media coverage and statements from authorities, friends, and family members have referred to Gandhi with their birth name, and used male pronouns to describe them. A beloved member of their community, they are described by friends in the media as “warm, kind, loving, intelligent, creative, funny person,” and in a GoFundMe from family friends, as someone who “loved camping...and kayaking...was a whiz at math” and for whom “family gatherings...and playing music” was their happy place. Since their death, Ome’s mother has been fighting to support the Keeping Children Safe from Family Violence Act, to modify existing child custody laws to more adequately address and respond to allegations of abuse. HRC is devastated by this loss, and extends our deepest sympathies to Ome’s friends, family, and loved ones.
Day Rodas, a 27-year-old transgender woman who worked for the Los Angeles LGBT Center in its community health program, is remembered by loved ones as a devoted advocate, a talented musician and someone who “saw the good in everyone.” Day was found dead in Los Angeles on December 1, 2022 after her family reported her missing. The Los Angeles County Sheriff Department’s homicide unit continues to investigate and an autopsy was conducted. Day’s family and friends have raised concerns about the circumstances of her death, noting that she came out as transgender six months prior and she was “really happy to finally be out of her shell and be who she really wanted to be.” Additionally, they noted that her phone and car were found in two different locations than her body. A GoFundMe has been set up by Day’s family to help with funeral and other expenses. HRC sends its deepest condolences to the family and friends of Day Rodas. We stand with Day’s family in calling for justice and complete transparency as the investigation continues.
Kimbella Kimble, a Black trans woman just 21 years of age, died in police custody on August 6, 2022 in the Harrison County Adult Detention Center approximately 24 hours after being placed in solitary confinement. A video of the incident posted to social media shows Kimbella being tased by corrections officers, while saying “I can’t breathe.” Transgender people are disproportionately likely to be incarcerated, and once there, they face much higher levels of mistreatment and violence - including a higher likelihood of being placed in solitary confinement. HRC extends its deepest condolences to Kimbella’s friends and family.
On July 16, 2022, Toi Davis, a 34-year-old Black transgender woman, was found dead “under suspicious circumstances” in her neighborhood in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; few other details have been released about her death. Toi had a "passion to love and heal" which led her to work as Certified Nursing Assistant, as well as having earned a Community Based Residential Facility (CBRF) certification. She was also a member of Sisters Helping Each Other Battle Adversity (SHEBA), a local advocacy, empowerment, and support group for Black transgender women, which recently profiled Toi on their Facebook page. In their profile, SHEBA described Toi as a “young leader [who] stands for the positive representation of black trans womxn of all walks of life. She is a mother, a nurturer, and a visionary.”
Jimmie “Jay” Lee
Jimmie “Jay” Lee, a 20-year-old gay University of Mississippi student, went missing on July 8th, 2022. According to news reports, the Oxford Police Department has since arrested an individual who has been charged with murder. While media reports and the police have not provided any information on motive in the case, Lee’s gender expression may have been a factor. Lee’s sister, Tayla Carey, described him as “A loving, caring person who would give you the shirt off his back if you need it.”
DeeDee Hall, a 47-year-old Black transgender woman, died en route to the hospital after being handcuffed and strapped down on a stretcher by Dallas police officers on May 26, 2022. Police were called to a local business in East Dallas after receiving reports that a woman had fallen inside the business. According to disturbing news reports, DeeDee struggled and screamed for help as officers restrained her and covered her head in a “spit hood.” Although bodycam footage has been released, details of further and ongoing investigations have been sparse though a paramedic involved was suspended from duty. Police waited almost two weeks to share the news of DeeDee’s death with the public, citing the need for her family to review the video. DeeDee’s family has said that her death was preventable. Family remembered DeeDee as “full of life” and “always helping people.” HRC is devastated by the loss of DeeDee and calls for transparency from Dallas officials and justice for DeeDee.
DeeDee Thomas, a 42-year-old Black transgender woman, was found dead in New York City on June 6, 2021. The investigation into her death is ongoing.According to reports, although foul play is suspected, an autopsy is pending and her death has not yet been ruled a homicide. Some members of her family believe DeeDee may have been experiencing domestic violence. DeeDee’s family described her as “happy,” “beautiful” and a “sweet soul.” They also shared that she enjoyed telling stories, dancing, singing and doing hair and makeup. On June 25, they held a memorial service to remember her.
Haven A. Bailey
Haven A. Bailey, a 25-year-old white transgender man, was shot and killed by Villa Park police on May 24, 2021 in Villa Park, Illinois. The investigation into his death is ongoing. According to local news reports, early on May 24, police shot an individual who appeared to be holding a gun and who was approaching police. According to police, a black pellet gun made to look like a real gun was recovered from the scene. Haven’s family shared that he had struggled with mental illness, addiction and suicidality. According to his obituary, “Haven was a dedicated, caring, and open friend, whose advice [was] a treasured comfort to many. Haven could light up any room, bring a smile to your face and make you laugh. As a friend, you would always know Haven loved you for who you are, without any judgment or criticism.”
Brianna Maritza Marquez
Brianna Maritza Marquez, a 26-year-old Latina transgender woman, was found/pronounced dead on April 5, 2021. Brianna was from Houston. She had been missing for some time.
Krys Brandon Ruiz
Krys Brandon Ruiz, a 26-year-old transgender man, was shot and killed by Lompoc police on March 28, 2021 in Lompoc, California. The investigation into his death by the Barbara County Sheriff’s Office is ongoing. Krys’ family’s attorney has also asked the California state attorney general to investigate his death, calling on a new law that requires the state attorney general to investigate incidents of unarmed people shot by police. The Barbara County Sheriff’s Office is alleging that Krys had a knife at the time was shot. His obituary states that Krys loved music and that “he will be remembered through the many musical recordings he left behind.” The obituary goes on to say, “Krys was blessed in life with good, solid friendships over the years… Krys’ smile lit up any room; it was very captivating. He was known for his ever-changing hair color… Krys loved having a big family.”
Kim Wirtz, a 43-year-old Asian transgender woman, was found unconscious on February 25, 2021 in a single jail cell at the Baltimore Central Booking and Intake Center. Kim was housed with men, a situation that transgender women in the criminal justice system often face. Maryland’s Department of Safety and Correctional Services does not believe foul play was involved, but Kim’s family has not received information about the circumstances surrounding her death, and a cause of death has not yet been released. Baltimore Safe Haven, a local LGBTQ+ organization, has started a petition calling for justice for Kim, and also hosted a vigil on March 5. Kim’s niece remembered her as “resilient,” saying, “She was a very strong person. She tried to find her place in this world.”
Alex VanDalsen was a 21-year-old transgender man from Lafayette, Indiana. On February 3, 2021, VanDalsen left his family home and failed to return. He was found shot dead on February 9, 2021. Although VanDalsen's death was ruled a suicide, members of his family believe he was killed. His family continues to seek answers regarding the circumstances of his death.
Natasha Keianna, a 37-year-old Black transgender woman, was reported missing on January 6, 2021. She was later found dead in her car on January 12 in Detroit, Michigan. Although the Detroit Police Department did not find signs of trauma or foul play, Natasha’s mother believes that she was targeted because she was transgender. An autopsy was requested, but no official cause of death has been announced. A friend of Natasha’s remembered her as a “sweet girl,” saying, “You knew her by the way that she dressed. She always had a nice heel on. She liked tall heels. But she didn’t try to flaunt it.”
Bonaire “Bonni” Black
Bonaire “Bonni” Black, a 19-year-old Black transgender teen, was found dead on December 31, 2020 in Atlanta. Although police believe her death was due to natural causes, friends and local advocates have disputed that account. Autopsy and toxicology reports have not been released, and neither has an official cause of death. On January 21, friends and advocates gathered to remember Bonni, describing her as “an artist, songwriter and rapper.” One advocate said of Bonni, “She loved doing her makeup and going out into the world making sure she looked her best.”
Kimberely Patricia Cope
Kimberely Patricia Cope, a 40-year-old Black transgender woman, was found dead in a parking lot in Athens, Georgia, on December 27, 2020. Kimberely’s friends told police that someone in a white SUV pulled up and spoke with her early in the morning of Dec. 27. Whether she got into the vehicle is unknown, but after the conversation took place, her friends did not see her again. Police say there were no signs of foul play, but they are still investigating and the autopsy report has yet to be released. Kimberely was described in her obituary as “a gifted make-up artist, a self-trained hair stylist, [who] had an eye for presentation and an extraordinary sense of style… Kim was a pet lover and animal advocate. She dreamed of the chance to work in a veterinary office or animal shelter.”
Fendi Mon’ezah Armstrong
Fendi Mon’ezah Armstrong, also known as “Peaches,” was a 39-year-old Black transgender woman who was found dead of a gunshot wound at a motel near Lithonia, Georgia, on November 12, 2020. She was from Springfield, Massachusetts and lived in Charlotte, North Carolina before moving to Decatur, Georgia shortly before her death. Fendi was an aspiring motivational health and beauty advisor.
Draya McCarty, a 28-year-old Black transgender woman, was found dead in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on July 4, 2020. An investigation is ongoing, but her death has not yet been ruled a homicide.
Tatiana Hall, a 22-year-old Black transgender woman, was found dead in Philadelphia on June 29, 2020. Details surrounding her death are unclear, but a coroner’s report claims it was due to drug use and was “accidental.” Tatiana’s family and friends have disputed this account, claiming she was not a drug user and that they suspect foul play. Tatiana’s close relative Mariah Hope said Tatiana was like a sister to her, and had “the prettiest smile.” Katrina Parker, another loved one, viewed Tatiana as a daughter and her “bundle of joy.” Both are seeking justice and hope Tatiana finds peace.
Koko Nia Labeija
Although Koko Nia Labeija’s body was found on June 6, 2020 in Chicago, she was not identified until early April 2021. On her Twitter profile, Koko, a 19-year-old Black transgender teen, described herself as loving the Kardashians/Jenners, as well as fashion and makeup, while her Facebook profile describes her as “a makeup artist in the making.” Her nickname was “The Beautiful.” According to PGH Lesbian, Koko attended Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos High School and worked at Oberweis Dairy. The school held a memorial event on April 9, and described Koko as a “vibrant soul.”
Ashley Moore, a 26-year-old Black transgender woman, was found dead in Newark, New Jersey, on April 1, 2020. The Newark Police Department ruled her death a suicide, but significant questions arose about her death. At the urging of Ashley’s mother and local activists, the case was reopened by the police department in connection with the county’s Homicide Task Force. “Ashley loved people,” said her mother. Ashley worked as a chef at One World Trade Center.
The Human Rights Campaign reports on news, events and resources of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation that are of interest to the general public and further our common mission to support the LGBTQ+ community.