An Arlington, Texas woman named Chynal Lindsey was found dead at the bottom of a lake in Dallas, marking the latest in a series of violent deaths of transgender women of color in the Dallas area this year.
Lindsey, 26, was found in Dallas’s White Rock Lake at 5:30 p.m. on a Saturday. According to Dallas police chief Renee Hall, who delivered a press conference on Monday, there were “obvious signs of homicidal violence” on Lindsey’s body, and her death is being investigated as a homicide.
During the press conference, Hall noted that the DPD had reached out to the FBI to assist in its investigation of the case and determine whether it could be classified as a hate crime. “We know this is the second individual who is transgender who is deceased in our community. We are concerned, we are actively and aggressively investigating this case,” she said.
Police also publicly released two photos of Lindsey, one of which she is masculine-presenting, as well as her deadname (or her assigned name at birth). Though Hall stated during the press conference that “normally we would not show both pictures of Chynal as a female and as her born gender,” both of the photos were released at Lindsey’s family’s request. “We respect the family’s wishes to use both photos in the search for Chynal’s killer,” a DPD spokesperson told Rolling Stone.
Lindsey’s death is the latest in a string of at least three murders of transgender women in the Dallas area this year. Last month, Muhlaysia Booker, 23, a black transgender woman, was also found shot to death, reportedly less than a mile from where Lindsey’s body was discovered. A few weeks before her murder, Booker was seen on cell phone video footage being attacked by a group of men in a parking lot. One of the men, Edward Thomas, 29, was arrested and charged with aggravated assault. Police have since said that there is no major evidence suggesting that Thomas played a role in Booker’s murder.
In addition to Booker and Lindsey, another transgender woman of color, Brittany White, was found dead after being shot in her car in October 2018. A fourth woman was allegedly stabbed multiple times in April, but survived the attack.
Between 2015 and 2018, there have been a number of additional mysterious deaths of transgender women of color in the Dallas area, Dallas police chief Maj. Vincent Weddington told CNN, though it is not clear whether these cases are related. When reached for comment, a representative for the Dallas Police Department told Rolling Stone: “In checking with our Homicide Unit, the cases are still under investigation and a motive will be determined when more facts are established.”
The Human Rights Campaign has previously reported that violence against transgender people is rising nationwide: In 2017, 29 transgender people were reported dead as a result of violence, the highest number ever recorded in the United States. That number could potentially be even higher, however, due to many murder victims remaining unidentified, or victims being misgendered by police.