(EDGE) Dallas police made a point of saying there is "no evidence that the death of Karla Patricia Flores-Pavón, 26, a transwoman of color, is a hate crime, according to local news station CBS11.
Flores-Pavón was found unconscious in her apartment on May 9. A man described by police as "a Latin male, approximately six feet tall, with short dark hair" was spotted leaving her residence not long before she was found. CBS11 reported that Flores-Pavón had met a man online and invited him back home.
Firemen answered a call made by someone in the apartment building and arrived at Flores-Pavón's apartment. Realizing she had been strangled, they alerted the police. Flores-Pavón was taken to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
In a press conference on May 11, Dallas police reported on the woman's death, saying there was no evidence that the killing was a hate crime. "The detectives are currently actively working this case," a police spokesperson, Deputy Police Chief Thomas Castro, told the media.
Castro also reminded those in attendance that it's important to "be aware of your surroundings." As far as not being strangled in your own home, Castro suggested, "If you do meet somebody out, you don't know that person well, maybe notify a close contact or an acquaintance that you are having company over."
"Flores-Pavón's death is the ninth known homicide of a transgender person this year, and the second known homicide of a transgender Latinx person," the Human Rights Campaign, which keeps a running tally of lethal violence directed against trans individuals, posted.
HRC documented the spike in fatalities among trans women that took place last year, with a record 28 deaths resulting. Many of the victims were trans women of color.
More generally, "Since 2013, HRC has tracked 113 incidents of fatal violence against transgender and non-binary people," the posting noted. "Of these, 64 have been victims of gun violence. In 2017, 16 out of the 28 deaths were the result of gun violence."