It took two days to confirm Trent's identity and notify family. Trent had been reported missing two weeks earlier, after leaving home late at night on a Sunday and never returning. Trent had been known to leave for a few days at a time, but always kept in touch with her mother, Sundra. Not this time.
Family members say Tyra was sometimes attacked in the streets. "Recently, she had been jumped on the street and beaten up, losing a tooth in the attack. '[Tyra] came home and cried that day,' [cousin Correll Trent] said."
Police tell the Sun that Tyra also worked the streets and had a number of arrests for prostitution—but no arrests since 2008. Tyra was trying to make some positive changes in her life, associates say.
Sandy Rawls, director of Trans-United, which provides outreach for members of the transgender community, said she had been working with Trent, who was in the process of formally changing her name and working to obtain a GED. "The whole transgender community is at risk," Rawls said. "We don't have the economical foundation set up for us as transgender people. We can't go into jobs without being discriminated against, and it's really hard for individuals to be themselves and have a way of living. Sometimes they end up doing wild things to survive, and they end up" in dangerous situations."
Police are investigating but have no suspects.
In addition to being at the greatest risk of violence, the murders of black and Latina trans women are often unsolved. One notable exception: The hate crime killing of Lateisha Green, a young black transgender woman in Syracuse, NY. The attacker, Dwight DeLee, became only the second person in the United States convicted of a hate crime that involved the death of a transgender victim. The first conviction was the Angie Zapata case in Colorado.