Missing Transgender Woman Elisha Walker Found Dead In Crude Grave
The body of Elisha Walker, a 20-year-old transgender woman who had been missing for almost a year, was found in a “crude grave” in Johnston County, North Carolina. According to advocates and local media, the discovery was made more than 100 miles from Walker’s home in Salisbury, North Carolina.
Via Raw Story:
A Latin Kings gang member, Angel Dejesus Arias, 23, was arrested and charged with killing Walker and stealing her car, reports said on Thursday. He was being held without bond.
Amid reports from Detroit, Texas and Phoenix of the deaths of three more black, transgender women, some observers have placed the number of transgender women killed this year at 16.
In a statement, transgender Human Rights Campaign staff member Laya Monarez said: “Even as we are seeing an increase in transgender visibility through a range of inspiring national media stories, including Caitlyn Jenner’s, the levels of violence and harassment transgender people face – particularly transgender women and transgender women of color – constitute a national crisis .”
This week, Texas police announced an investigation into the death of 22-year-old Shade Schuler, whose body was found badly decomposed in a field in Dallas. It took almost three weeks to identify her remains.
Activists in Michigan were also asking for help from Detroit law enforcement, after 20-year-old Amber Monroe was shot and killed in a city park. She was the fifth transgender woman to be killed in Palmer Park since 2014.
In Phoenix on Tuesday night a 35-year-old transgender woman, Kandis Capri, was shot dead.
Walker was reported missing in November 2014, after her family had not heard from her since 24 October, the Salisbury Post reported. Police gave local media information about Walker’s disappearance in an effort to generate leads, but few were forthcoming until Walker’s burnt-out 2000 Pontiac Sunfire was discovered in an open field in Sampson County, police said in a release.
Arias had lived in a house in Salisbury that Walker was known to frequent, before moving to Johnston County, more than 100 miles away, where he was arrested on unrelated drug charges. Rowan County police obtained a search warrant for a Johnston County house, they said. They discovered Walker’s body in a “small depression” behind it.
Arias will not face hate crimes charges over Walker’s death. North Carolina does not have a hate crimes statute. Should trans people be protected under the hate crimes statute as well??