Transwoman found dead in American River
An unidentified transwoman was found dead in the American River on Sunday, September 21st, 2008, less than a mile from the Highway 160 Bridge.
Coroner officials have identified the person, whose last known address was in North Highlands, using fingerprints, but have not released the identity pending notification of next of kin.
Initial investigation indicates no foul play was involved, but authorities are awaiting autopsy results to determine a cause of death.
The Sacramento Gay and Lesbian Center is sending out emails, warning people to be careful in the area.
The Sacramento transgender community is "tight knit," according to David Nylund, Ph.D, the director of clinical services for the Sacramento Gay and Lesbian Center.
"It's a larger community then people realize," explained Nylund, who said the center sees more than one new transgender client a week and has a "well-attended" weekly adult transgender support group of between 20-30 people.
Nylund had scheduled a case conference meeting with the center's five other therapists to review records to determine if any of the center's clients might match the physical description of the person found.
Lester Neblett, executive director of the community center, said that the Sacramento Police Department had been in contact with the center Monday.
"The Sacramento LGBT community is deeply concerned for this person, her friends, and family," said Neblett. "The most important thing that can happen now is to determine the cause of death."
"This is the age transgender people are most at risk for violence," stated Nylund, who also is an associate professor of social work at California State University, Sacramento. "These individuals are more likely to be mistaken for young women" and the discovery that they have male genitalia can lead to violent acts against them, he explained.
"There is no doubt we need to do more to reach out to young people and to let them know they are not alone in their coming out process," said Neblett. "It can be a lonely, frightening time. We simply need to let the schools, professionals, churches, and community leaders know the center is here to provide support."