The body of a Black transgender woman was found slain in a burned car in Hendry county.
Bee Love Slater, 23, was discovered in a torched PT Cruiser in Clewiston, Florida on September 4 when authorities could not initially identify her body “due to the burns and lack of identification available.” Using dental records, a medical examiner was able to identify her body several days later.
A motive in her death is currently unknown as authorities are unsure if Slater's gender identity played a role in her death. Police will not officially classify the Pahokee native’s death as a hate crime until they can clearly prove the reason for the killing.
“I think she was targeted because of her life style,” said Desmond Vereen, who called himself Slater’s “gay mother.”
Slater’s friend, only identified as Jackson, revealed she was bullied online, verbally harassed, and had expressed concerns about her safety.
The Washington Post reveals Slater reportedly texted a friend that she wanted to leave town the night she died.
“We have more questions than answers,” said Jackson to NBC News.
There are no suspects in what authorities are calling one of the most brutal murders in county history.
The Human Rights Campaign reveals Slater’s passing marks the 18th murder in the trans community nationwide this year, with 17 of the women killed were Black.
Executive director of LGBT+ Center Orlando, George Wallace, told NBC News how transgender women of color "are killed at a higher rate than that of their peers.”
Florida led the country in the murders of transgender people last year, with at least five homicides, according to the Human Rights Campaign.
A candlelight vigil in honor of Slater’s life and memory took place on September 6.