Candace Towns became the 25th transgender American murdered in the U.S. this year after she was found dead last Tuesday in Macon, Ga.
Police found the 30-year-old’s body following an anonymous tip three days after she was reported missing. Authorities are investigating her case as homicide. She had been shot.
“If I needed anything she would give it to me. She would give me the clothes off her back,” said Malaysa Monroe, Towns’ best friend.
Towns is now the 25th known transgender person killed in the U.S. this year, according to the Human Rights Campaign. Twenty-one of the 25 victims have been women of color, and 16 of them were Black. Sixty-four percent of the victims have been killed in the South.
Towns was unfortunately a victim to anti-trans violence in the past, TransGriot reports. In July 2009, she was shot in the ankle just a few blocks from when her body was found last week.
In 2016, 23 transgender Americans were reported murdered. At the time, it was the highest number of transgender murders in American history. However, the HRC reports that 2017 has surpassed last year with 25 transgender homicides reported. That number could also be higher, as transgender homicides are often hard to track due to misgendering.
Initial reporting of Towns misgendered and misnamed her before family and friends stepped in.