The murder of a third gay man in less than two months has the Broward Sheriff's office on alert, and they are seeking leads from the LGBT community.
While the deaths appear to be entirely unrelated, the murders should send a signal that “gays and lesbians can become crime victims too,” said Captain Robert Schnakenberg, of the BSO Criminal Investigations Division.
Last Wednesday, 21-year old Kelvin Walden was found shot to death in his car at the Crystal Lake Apartment Complex in Oakland Park, where he lived.
Having gone missing for a day, his family was searching for him when they noticed his car atypically situated in the back parking lot of the complex where he resided, at 4100 NW 21st Avenue.
Walden’s mother, Conchita Walden, approached the vehicle first, an Infiniti, opened the door and found her son’s body, slain by a bullet which apparently went through the front windshield. Kelvin’s cousin, Tiffany Mickel, told Channel 4 news that when “Kelvin’s mom opened the door, he just fell in her arms.”
"Whoever did this needs to turn themselves in, because everyone knows him and loves him," Conchita Walden told Channel 4. "He's a sweetheart. Who would shoot and kill my baby and leave him for dead?"
While declining to comment on who may have shot Walden or why, Broward County Sheriff's deputies have officially ruled the case a homicide.
They are aware that Kelvin, known as ‘K.D.’ in the gay community, was a cross-dresser in a relationship with another man. He frequently attended drag shows. While Walden was not dressed in women’s clothing when his body was found, relatives were unable to say if his sexual orientation had anything to do with his murder. They only know him as a loved family member.
Meanwhile, police are exploring ‘all leads and possible avenues’ which would further their investigation, including possible ties to past criminal conduct. At the time of his murder, Walden had an open felony case pending for grand theft in the third degree, with a warrant out for his arrest since July of 2009, when he failed to appear in court before Judge Carlos Rebollo.
If you have any information on the crime, you are asked to call CrimeStoppers at (954) 493-TIPS
K.D.’s family has now memorialized his death with a two minute musical tribute uploaded on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHNAgzcqBqw.