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This woman is the 13th trans person murdered in America this year

June 15, 2017
Josie Berrios was murdered

Image Credit: Facebook

A woman from New York has become the thirteenth trans person to be murdered in the USA this year.

28-year-old Josie Berrios, from Ithaca, was found dead in an apartment block just before 7am on Tuesday morning.

While police have yet to release the cause of death, it is being treated as a murder investigation, court documents say she was found with burns on her body, alongside a gas can at the scene.

Police have since charged a 45-year-old man, Michael Davis, with second degree murder, as well as first degree arson.

They added that Josie was believed to have been in a “personal relationship” with Mr Davis.

Friends using a memorial page on Facebook described her as “the most wonderful person I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.”

“Her beautiful smile and contagious laugh brought everyone happiness. Josie, I love you baby girl. You will never be forgotten.”

Another added: “Josie was one the smartest, sweetest, most mischievous souls I’ve ever known. May she sleep in peace.”

House of Merlot, an Ithaca based group of drag performers, where Josie performed under the name Kimbella Rosé also posted their respects, adding she was one of their founding members.

“She was usually full of energy, rarely on time, and always slayed her performances. A proud trans woman of colour, she always tried her best to make new performers feel comfortable in our spaces.

“She recognised the realness in all of us without question and made us feel beautiful.”

The group plans to hold a memorial show to her next week, adding: “Black trans lives matter. Go forth today and tell all of your queer family, by blood or by bond, how much you love them.”

They added: “She was part of so many families here in Ithaca, that many are feeling stunned and lost following this news. Her presence is still felt, and will never be forgotten.”

Kenne McFadden
Kenne McFadden was the 12th trans victim in the US this year

Her death is believed to be the thirteenth trans murder in the country this year. In January 41-year-old make-up artist Mesha Caldwell was shot and killed in Mississippi.

Less than a week later Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow, a two-spirit woman belonging to the Oglala Lakota tribe, was found dead in her apartment.

By April nine trans black women had been killed, with the number rising to 12 at the beginning of this month, after the death of Kenne McFadden.

The 26-year-old was found floating in Texas’s San Antonio River on April 9, however, was initially misgendered by authorities.

More: US

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