There have been no arrests after a gruesome discovery near a Detroit freeway: The charred torso of a transgender teen who had been reported missing, reports the Detroit News.
The Wayne County Medical Examiner's office has confirmed the death of 19-year-old Shelley Hilliard, a transgender teen also known as Treasure, after her mother identified her torso [Thursday] morning. The teen, who was born Henry Hilliard, went missing in the early hours of Oct. 23. The Medical Examiner's office received her torso later on Oct. 23.
Hilliard apparently met with foul play that morning, reports the Free Press.
A cab driver that Hilliard often used for rides dropped Hilliard off at a home where three men were waiting for her, his mother, Lyniece Nelson, said today. But Hilliard immediately called the driver back, voicing concern about the situation, Nelson said. The driver "started to hear her say, 'What are you doing,' then scream out loud 'No,' then her phone dropped, a few muffling noises, then the phone went dead," Nelson said. "By the time he got back around the corner, there was no one in sight."
"She loved her family, and she was well-loved by everybody," mother Lyniece Nelson tells the Free Press. "She was happy with who she was."
In addition to being at the greatest risk of violence, the murders of Black trans women are often unsolved. Black transgender women face "extreme discrimination and poverty", and are more than likely to suffer from violence, physical or sexual abuse, police brutality, HIV/AIDS and bullying, according to a first of its kind survey conducted by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Black Justice Coalition.