Dalila Ali Rajah
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Transgender Woman Murdered in Maryland

Keyonna Blakeney

Maryland police are investigating the death of a transgender woman.

Keyonna Blakeney, 22, was found dead Saturday, 11:50 a.m., in a hotel room at a Red Roof Inn in Rockville, Md., reports WJLA, a local ABC news station.

Police, who believe she died earlier that morning, ruled Monday that her death is a homicide. She suffered trauma to her upper body.

A person with a name matching her legal documents, Kenneth Anthony Blakeney, was arrested April 3 for a third-degree sex offense against a 14-year-old boy, according to court records.

Police suspect Blakeney may have been engaging in sex work at the hotel at the time of her murder.

According to the victim’s Facebook page, Blakeney worked as a makeup artist at Mac Cosmetics, studied at Bowie State University, lived in Washington, D.C., and is from Upper Marlboro, Md.

Another transgender woman, Zella Ziona, was shot multiple times in a neighboring town, Gaithersburg, last October. Her killer was charged with first-degree murder.

At least 21 trans women were killed in the United States in 2015. Nine have been killed this year.

Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to call the Major Crimes Division at (240) 773-5700 or  1-866-411-TIPS.

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