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Pa. Transgender Woman's Death Ruled Homicide, No Motive Say Police

Michael "Stacey" Lee (Personal Photo)
Pa. Transgender Woman's Death Ruled Homicide, No Motives Say Police
Michael "Stacey" Lee (Personal Photo)

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) Police ruled the death of a Pennsylvania transgender woman, who was found dead in her home earlier this week, a homicide by strangulation and asphyxiation Wednesday, according to reports.

The body of 31-year-old Stacey Lee, identified by police as Michael Lee, was found partially dressed and face down by her live-in boyfriend in her Point Breeze home Monday night, according to the Philadelphia Daily News.

Authorities say they dont consider the boyfriend a suspect and are still unsure of the motive behind her death. Though police are not ruling out any possibilities that may had led to Stacey's murder, Homicide Sgt. Bob Wilkins said there wasn't enough information to call it a hate crime, the Daily News reported.

"We're getting a lot of information from the neighbors down there and other people that we're digging into right now," Wilkins told the paper.

A couple of local residents who authorities questioned indicated that they frequently witnessed men who drove lavish cars heading in and out of the victim's residence while her boyfriend was away, according to the Daily News.

Neighbors described the victim as "beautiful and friendly," and said she often kept to herself. A person who asked to be identified as Darlene apparently established a rapport with the victim and said she talked to her some mornings while she waited for a taxi, reports the paper.

Stacey was the "Overall Mother" of the House of Blahnik, a nationally recognized lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) organization set to cultivate social networks through performing arts, according to its Web site.