DALLAS, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas police are investigating after the body of a transgender woman was found in White Rock Lake on Saturday.
Dallas Fire-Rescue pulled her body from the water in the evening around 5:30 p.m.
She was identified as Chynal Lindsey, 26, a transgender woman from Arlington.
“We are concerned. We are actively investigating the case and have reached out to federal authorities for assistance,” said Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall during a Monday afternoon news conference. “We are asking for the community’s assistance with this tragic event,” she said.
Chief Hall said there were signs of “homicidal violence” in Lindsey’s death.
The FBI released the following statement after Chief Hall’s announcement:
“The FBI is committed to investigating all federal crimes and providing assistance to our local partners when asked. We will continue to work with the Dallas Police Department as well as all our community partners to address any concerns. If in the course of the local investigation, information comes to light of a potential federal civil rights violation, the FBI is prepared to assist.”
Chief Hall said DPD is working to keep the city safe with roughly 500 fewer officers than they had in years past, and that one of the reasons she’s asked the FBI to step in is that they will have the resources to delve into motive and whether these murders are connected and whether they are hate crimes.
Tamaya Lindsey said she knew the victim as her cousin, Jason, who was placed for adoption as a young child. The two were reunited about five years ago on social media. She said Jason, who still identified as a man at the time, moved to North Texas to be close to his birth family.
“He was just smiling, smiling, smiling ‘cause he was so excited to see us,” she said.
She said Jason lived with her and other family members, but after a while began to struggle with drugs and moved out. It was around the same time, Tamaya said, her cousin began identifying as a trans woman, taking the name Chynal Lindsey.
For the last year, she said she no longer knew where Chynal was living or how to contact her except through social media. Several months ago, though, Chynal surprised her at work and met her co-workers.
“And, they were like, ‘Man, she loves you so much.’ And, I just broke down and I cried because I kept saying, ‘I don’t know if this is the last time I’m going to see you’,” she recalled.
But it was…
Lindsey’s death is now the fourth open murder investigation involving a transgender woman.
All four victims were African American. Three were killed within the last eight months.
“That scares me. That scares me a lot,” said Jazmine, a trans woman attending the chief’s press conference Monday who did not provide her last name.
She fears someone is targeting the transgender community and worries for her safety.
“I’m human. In the flesh. Like y’all. I’m just asking you to respect me and don’t bother me in my everyday life if I’m not messing with you or doing anything,” she said.
Lindsey’s cousin doesn’t know what else you could call it other than a hate crime.
“If this was a hate crime, shame on you,” she said, breaking into tears. “For someone to have that much anger and hatred toward someone to leave them in a lake like trash, it’s horrible.”