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Two-spirit trans woman is second killed in 2017, found dead in her apartment

Two-spirit trans woman is second killed in 2017, found dead in her apartment

Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow is the second trans woman to be murdered in 2017

A trans woman was found dead in her apartment on Friday night (6 December).

Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow, a 28-year-old from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, was found by the police after a neighbor noted a strange smell coming from the home.

She is the second reported trans woman to have been killed in the US in 2017.

A neighbor had called police after they noticed ‘a strong odor coming from the apartment’, according to KSFY.

According to police, evidence inside her apartment suggest Wounded Arrow’s death was a homicide.

On Sunday (8 December), 25-year-old Joshua Rayvon LeClaire was arrested because he ‘may be connected’ to Wounded Arrow’s killing.

Police are set to reveal more information on the investigation later today (9 December).

Originally from the Pine Ridge Indian reservation in South Dakota, Wounded Arrow was a member of the Oglala Lakota tribe and reportedly fairly new to Sioux Falls.

She was an active member of Sioux Falls Two-Spirits and Allies, a local group providing support to and promoting education about Two-Spirit individuals and culture.

They shared the news of Wounded Arrow’s death on their Facebook page, saying they believe she was killed on New Year’s Day, and asked for prayers for her family.

‘Tunkalisa has called another one of our community members home,’ the group said.

‘Our hearts are broken as we will miss her very much.’

Friends and strangers have been sharing their condolences with the family.

‘Blessed with two spirits and cursed to live in an ignorant world,’ one user wrote.

‘Travel well sister.’

Friends said they believe Wounded Arrow’s gender identity ‘may have had something to do with her murder’.

‘This marks the second trans woman murdered in 2017, and it happened in our own back yard,’ said Danielle Wilcox, President The Center for Equality.

‘While the investigation is ongoing, we see that gender and race often play a role in the escalation of violence toward transgender people.’

South Dakota’s state attorney general is currently drafting a bill similar to North Carolinas HB2, more commonly called the bathroom bill.

If implemented, the bill would force trans students to use the bathroom corresponding to their birth-assigned gender.

The bill needs to reach 13,871 signatures from registered voters to be put onto the ballot for South Dakota’s 2018 elections.