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Missing Trans Woman Dawn Manson Is Found in Pennsylvania

Dawn Manson

Update: Police in West Mifflin, Penn., announced on Tuesday that Dawn Manson has been located and is safe.


Relatives of Black transgender woman Dawn Manson are searching for her after having had no communication from her since Thursday.

Her family journeyed from Florida to Pennsylvania to look for her, based on a cell phone record that placed her in West Mifflin, which is near Pittsburgh, TV station KDKA reports. But West Mifflin police said Sunday they had determined she was not in the area. She was last seen in San Francisco.

“Dawn’s phone pinged here in this area, but there’s no car,” Lateea Neely, Manson’s mother, told KDKA while in West Mifflin. “There’s no Dawn.”

Neely said her last communication from Manson was a Thursday text message. Manson had said she was depressed and had been having difficulties with a man.

Family members, aided by the Dignity Act Now Collective, went door-to-door in West Mifflin handing out fliers. Manson’s cousin Ronnisha Yates issued a plea to her via the TV station, saying, “You have support. Your family is here. We are going to be here until we bring you home.”

But police said they have concluded Manson is not in the region and have forwarded information to the “appropriate authorities,” without saying where they believe she is.  

Manson’s car is a red Kia Rio with Florida license plate NXQF18. Anyone who has seen her or the vehicle should contact their local police department, West Mifflin authorities said.

Her disappearance comes as violence against trans Americans continues to be rampant, especially against Black women. Four homicides of Black trans women have been reported in the past few days — in Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, and Texas, while the death of a second woman in Louisiana has not yet been ruled a homicide. There are also reports, so far unconfirmed, of a Black trans woman being killed in Philadelphia. And a Black trans woman was shot in Los Angeles last week and was reported to be in critical condition. There have been at least 20 homicides of trans people in the U.S. in 2020, with most of the victims being Black or Latinx women.

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