Cleveland Homicide: two transgender murders in as many days
Both deaths were quite violent, and there’s no news at this time if they are conclusively connected. Common sense will tell you that they are, but the cops don’t act on gut instincts. They’re lining up the proof.
My father spent 27 years working Cleveland homicide, so I’ll be poking around my lifelong contacts to see if I can get any information as this develops:
Jacob Nash, an advocate for the Greater Cleveland transgender community, said the death Friday of Brittany Stergis looks particularly like a hate crime. Stergis, identified by the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office as Laron Kidd, was found shot in the head inside her car off West 25th Street
“There would be no other reason for anyone to come up like that and shoot somebody the way they shot her,” Nash said.
Police said the 22-year-old was parked at a public housing facility. Nash said the area is near nightclubs.
Police initially said the victim was a woman, but on Saturday said the person was a man dressed in women’s clothing.
On Thursday morning, Betty Skinner, a 52-year-old disabled resident of a senior apartment complex in Cleveland’s Old Brooklyn neighborhood, was found dead in her bed of an apparent homicide. She had head injuries.
Skinner legally changed her name from Brian Skinner in 2002. Nash said he did not know when Kidd began calling herself Brittany Stergis.
There have been no arrests in either case.
Cleveland police said Saturday there is no indication the incidents are related. Department spokesperson Det. Jennifer Ciaccia said neither has been titled a hate crime. She did ask that anyone with information about either incident call police at 216-623-5464.
I literally can walk to where Stergis was found from here. The public housing they identify is the CMHA housing high rise opposite Lutheran Hospital, right on the bank of The Flats. The other victim’s neighborhood is a short drive away from that high rise.
Updates as they come out.