Police in the Miami Beach, Fla., area are reaching out to the public to try to solve a three-month old killing of a local transgender woman. According to South Florida Gay News, Rene "Rosita" Hidalgo was found bludgeoned to death in her home March 15, after friends reported her missing to police.
Renowned drag performer Amy Rivers — a close friend of the victim who reportedly arrived on the scene with police — told Victoria Michaels of SFGN, "Somebody had the nerve to stab her, cut her neck and put something in her mouth so she wouldn't scream. It's not fair what they did to her. She didn't deserve this. I loved her and everybody loved her."
Detectives are asking area residents for any information that might lead to finding a perpetrator, confirming Hidalgo was found with multiple stab wounds but staying mum on other details of the crime pending the ongoing investigation. The Miami Beach Police Department has come under criticism recently for a press release calling Hidalgo a "transvestite who was known to have profited from sex." (Hidalgo was actually a transgender woman, not a cross-dresser — the definition of the archaic term 'transvestite' — and her friends told SFGN that she was not a sex worker.)
Detective Oldy Ochoa, however, told SFGN that the case was top priority: "It's the LGBT community that has allowed Miami Beach to thrive over the years and it's our honorable duty to protect and serve them no matter if they are gay, lesbian, or transgender because they are all human beings. I want nothing more than to catch this criminal because I think the LGBT community deserves it for all that they have done for our city."
According to SFGN, police have said the shootings of two other trans women in April are unrelated to Hidalgo's killing.