Suspect Arrested in Killing of Missouri Trans Woman Nina Pop

Illustration for article titled Suspect Arrested in Killing of Missouri Trans Woman Nina Pop
Photo: Sikeston, Mo. Police Department

A man has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder in the death of Nina Pop, a 28-year-old trans woman found stabbed to death in Missouri earlier this month.

KFVS TV reports that 40-year-old Joseph Cannon was arrested Friday morning in Dexter, Mo.

Sikeston DPS Chief James McMillen told reporters that police were “pleased to have enough evidence to charge someone for this brutal act,” adding that several people came forward with information that helped lead to Cannon’s arrest.


No motive has been disclosed yet, though McMillen said earlier that police were looking into the possibility of Pop’s death being a hate crime.

Police found Pop stabbed multiple times on May 3 in her apartment in Sikeston, Mo. She worked at a fast-food restaurant in the small town, located 145 miles south of St. Louis, and was well-known in the area, local television station KFVS reported earlier.

Pop’s killing is believed to be the 10th violent death of a transgender or gender-nonconforming person so far this year, says Human Rights Campaign (HRC), which advocates for LGTBQ civil rights. Five trans victims were killed in the last month alone; all of them were women of color.

Racial justice and trans rights activists have lifted up the names of trans women of color as they continue to be disproportionately harassed and targeted for abuse.


“We must be outraged by this news and we must channel that outrage into action immediately,” wrote Tori Cooper, director of community engagement for HRC’s Transgender Justice Initiative, in a recent blog post. “These crimes must be reported, investigated and prosecuted. These lives must be mourned, honored and fought for. What we are doing is not enough.”

Police are still investigating the circumstances of Pop’s death. Sikeston DPS Officer Evelyn Aceves noted that they were currently trying to figure out the timeline of Pop’s last hours. The officer called on the public to come forward with any information they might have.


“I know that a lot of people think, might think any information, any small information might not help, but at this time any information will most definitely help. We want to have a timeline of when this might have occurred,” Aceves said, according to KFVS.

Staff writer, The Root.

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"Not a real" DrDonna

I’m glad they got him. It’s all too common that these sorts of murders go cold without any arrests-to a degree that makes it pretty clear that the police consider trans women (and most especially trans women of color) almost as expendable as the murderers do. It’s almost as though the system is explicitly set up to devalue trans and Black lives.