A 22-year-old transgender woman was found dead in her room at the Red Roof Inn hotel in Rockville, Maryland on April 16th. The woman has been identified as Keyonna Monroe Blakeney.
According to the Montgomery County Police, The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has ruled the death a homicide. First responders found Blakeney had trauma to her upper body and she was pronounced dead at their arrival. According to a report by the Washington Post, Police identified her as a transgender woman and said she may have been engaged in prostitution when she was killed.
“Detectives have been working around the clock on this case,” said Capt. Paul Starks, of the Montgomery County Police.
Blakeney had been living in hotels as she was trying to stabilize her life and find a permanent apartment. According to her Facebook page she studied at Bowie State University and had been working as a makeup artist. “She loved doing people’s makeup,” said her sister Jasmine Blakeney in a statement. “She loved fashion. She loved all the glamorous stuff girls do.”
Detectives are urging anyone who may have information regarding the murder of Keyonna to contact the Major Crimes Division at (240)773-5070. For those who wish to remain anonymous, Crime Solvers of Montgomery County is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for any information that leads to the arrest of the suspect(s). Tipsters can call Crime Solvers of Montgomery County toll-free at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).
And yet another murder of a transgender woman. In the report for the Washington Post, her father gives a statement that absolutely misgenders her. Though his words were of love and support it is still unfortunate to hear. Luckily her sister did right by her. It also seems that in cases of transgender murders, prostitution is almost always assumed. Though that may be true in this case, they never do anything to point out the fact that many of our sisters have no other alternative because of the way we are portrayed by the media. This is another murder that did not have to happen. If Keyonna was afforded the same equal rights as everyone else she may still be with us today. This is a result of society’s view of the transgender community. It is the result of hate and smear campaigns like what took place in North Carolina and Mississippi. Society has to do better.
There is a gofundme campaign to help give Keyonna’s family give her a proper memorial for anyone who wishes to help.