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Much-loved trans woman found stabbed to death in apartment as LGBT+ group warns the epidemic ‘can no longer be ignored’

Emma Powys Maurice May 10, 2020
transgender

Nina Pop is the latest transgender woman of colour to have been killed in the US (Facebook/Nina Pop)

Police are investigating the death of a transgender woman who was found stabbed to death in her apartment.

Officers found the body of 28-year-old Nina Pop in her apartment in Sikeston, Missouri, a small town of about 16,000 residents, on May 3. She had been stabbed several times and is believed to have died of her wounds.

Pop reportedly worked in a local fast food restaurant and was well known in the town. Those close to her have shared tributes on Facebook, saying that “everyone loved” her.

“This a hard pill for everyone to swallow cause everyone knew and loved you. Fly high baby girl,” a friend wrote.

No arrests have been made and a motive has not yet been determined, but detectives are considering the possibility of a hate crime.

Nina Pop is the 10th trans person killed in the US in 2020.

LGBT+ advocates have raised concerns of a spate of similar killings as Pop’s death is believed to be the latest of at least ten violent deaths of trans or gender non-conforming people this year in the US.

It is also the fifth known violent death in the past month — all transgender women of colour.

“We are seeing an epidemic of violence that can no longer be ignored. Transgender and gender non-conforming people, especially trans women of colour, risk our lives by living as our true selves – and we are being violently killed for doing so,” said Tori Cooper of the Human Rights Campaign in a statement.

Transgender women of colour are frequent victims of violence in the US (Facebook/Nina Pop)

“We must be outraged by this news and we must channel that outrage into action immediately. These crimes must be reported, investigated and prosecuted. These lives must be mourned, honoured and fought for.

“What we are doing is not enough. HRC mourns alongside all those who know and loved Nina, and we will continue our tireless fight to ensure a future where living one’s truth can never become a death sentence.”

Investigators are now conducting interviews as they try to build a timeline of Pop’s final hours.

“If [someone] heard anything, if they saw anyone suspicious, any vehicle that they usually don’t see there, we want to know that information,” an officer told KFVS12.

Anyone with information about her death is asked to contact Sikeston DPS at 573-471-4711 or Crime Stoppers Hotline at 573-471-1500.

More: Human Rights Campaign, Missouri, Transgender murders

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