BALTIMORE (WJZ)— A transgender woman was found dead in a vacant Baltimore home. Her family says she was constantly tormented because of the way she looked.
Weijia Jiang reports city police are scrambling for clues in her murder.
Bright, loving and motivated. That's how friends describe 25-year-old Tyra Trent—a transgender woman found dead over the weekend.
"He was very outgoing, dressed the way he wanted to dress, been the way he wanted to be," said Brandy Grisson, neighbor.
"She loved people, loved animals, loved to talk to anybody," said Sandy Rawls, Trans-United director.
Rawls, a close friend to Trent and the director of a transgender outreach group, was helping Trent pursue a GED. Rawls believes she was killed as a result of her appearance.
Police say on Saturday, someone found Trent's lifeless body in a vacant city-owned house on Virginia Avenue.
"Preliminary ME reports indicate the victim died of asphyxiation or strangulation," said Det. Kevin Brown, Baltimore City Police Department.
Though the circumstances of Trent's death are unknown, Rawls says it's typical for transgender women to end up on the streets. Homeless herself for two years, she says many feel they have nowhere else to go.
"We're up and down, up and down trying to survive," Rawls said. "If you don't have that strong community support, family support to help you and uplift yourself, you can fall through the cracks easy as you can see."
Court documents reveal Trent, whose legal name is Anthony, had been charged dozens of times of loitering, prostitution and drugs.
Rawls is working with city leaders to establish more resources for the transgender community to prevent other tragedies.
"We have to stop hating one another, stop hating to the point where you would kill them," Rawls said.
Friends and family members are planning a candlelight vigil for Trent.
Police have no suspects in this case. They're urging anyone with information to come forward.
for more features.