An attack that a police detective describes as “very vicious and violent” has authorities searching for the killer of a 45-year-old transgender woman found dead two weeks ago in her Miami apartment.
Family identified the victim as Alexus Braxton.
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“Whoever did this, you need to come forward,” Braxton’s sister, who gave her name as Neki, told NBC Miami. “You hurting our family. You hurting everyone around us, and we want to know, why, why, why would you do it? What would the reason be for you to do such a crime and do such an act on a beautiful person?”
In a video news release, Miami-Dade Police Det. Juan Segovia said: “The family has been left with no closure. They’re suffering tremendously because of the death and the manner in which our victim … was murdered.”
The victim’s death is “at least” the sixth violent death of a transgender person in 2021, according to the LGBTQ advocacy organization Human Rights Campaign, after 44 recorded deaths of transgender and gender non-conforming people in 2020 — more than in any year since HRC began tracking such violence in 2013.
The exact tally is unknown “because too often these deaths go unreported — or misreported,” according to the organization. “So far this year, five of the six known deaths have been Black transgender women.”
Police say the victim was discovered at about 10 p.m. Feb. 4 in her apartment at the Carmel at the California Club condominium complex.
“I was calling her all that day,” the victim’s mother, Tatiana Braxton, told NBC Miami. With no response, her concern led her to grab her other daughter and go to the apartment, where the women’s suspicions led them to alert police, who encountered the crime scene.
The victim, who also was known as Kimmy Icon Braxton, was a hairstylist, according to her Facebook page, on which she stated in a recent post, “they can’t stop my shine.”
In a statement to HRC, her mother referenced the 1999 death of a friend and said: “Twenty two years later and Black Trans Women’s lives are still not VALUED. In 1999, I witnessed my best friend get murdered in the streets of Miami. Sadly, since her murder, I’ve lost many more friends due to senseless violence. Here we are in 2021, it’s my daughter Kimmy. There’s one thing that remains the same: law enforcement, state officials and local politicians have no sense of urgency to address this growing epidemic. Please help us!”
Segovia, the detective, said: “We always believe that somebody saw something that they may not even realize that’s going to be able to help us on this case.” Police have not identified any suspects but collected surveillance video from the condo complex that shows an individual “who may have information or know something about the case.”
“Maybe somebody heard something that night, maybe somebody saw something that was out of place, something suspicious that they haven’t come forth with,” he said. “We’re urging those people to come forth.”