By Diane Anderson-Minshall
Originally published on Advocate.com May 12 2012 2:36 PM ET
Marcel Camero Tye, a 25-year-old transgender woman in Arkansas, was murdered over a year ago, but despite criticism from local advoctes, investigators say they haven't stopped looking for her killer even though the case is cold. According to a new report on KTHV, Tye was found on Highway 334 in St. Francis County, Ark., in March 2011. She had been shot to death and, most likely, dragged beneath a vehicle as the killer fled the scene.
Sheriff Bobby May of St. Francis County told KTHV that the FBI ruled that the murder was not a hate crime, but all the evidence the police department has gathered, including plaster impressions of tire tracks, DNA, and shell casings, has led nowhere. Tye's murder and lack of a hate crime designation has been debated on local message boards (including one message from a friend of Tye's who said the victim was "picked on by police, schoolmates, and strangers," would never get into a car with a stranger, and would tell anyone propositioning her that she was transgender). But even with all that talk online, police say nobody has been talking with them and the even their best evidence is useless.
"It had rained considerably and the tracks were more like ruts in the side of the road," said Sheriff May, who released a profile of the killer (a local married man, between the ages of 25 and 50, who had previous relations with Tye). The police are now asking for assistance from Tye's friends and other transgender locals, telling KTHV that some trans folks may not be talking out of fear of violence themselves.
There's a 24-hour tip line (870-633-2611) where residents can call in information on the crime and remain anonymous.