On Wednesday, the body of Chanel Scurlock—a transgender black woman—was discovered in a field in Lumberton, N.C. shortly after midnight. She was 23.
The Advocate reports that the victim was identified by friends and activists after suffering an unspecified number of fatal gunshot wounds. Scurlock lived 20 miles away in neighboring Lumber Bridge and became the ninth transgender American killed this year—all of whom have been black women.
According to WRAL, Scurlock’s family became concerned when she expressed her desire to confront someone on Tuesday night who took down Facebook photos of her dressed in women’s clothing.
“He made a connection with a guy that took his page down,” Brenda Scurlock, Chanel’s mother, said. “I was surprised that he would go meet somebody that took the page down because that’s a red flag right there.”
Though her mother identifies Scurlock as a gay man, trans activist Monica Roberts and friends of Chanel have identified her as a trans woman.
“Robeson County sheriff’s detectives are currently working diligently to bring closure to a grieving family,” Sheriff Burnis Wilkins told The Robesonian. “This cowardly act has to be addressed and a person or persons will be held accountable and brought to justice.”
Wilkins says he and detectives have “great leads,” but anyone will pertinent information related to the case are encouraged to contact the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office Homicide Division at 910-671-3170. Callers will have the option to remain anonymous.