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Trans woman murdered in Philadelphia

A candlelight vigil will be held for the memory of Kyra Kruz, a 27-year-old shot in the head

Trans woman murdered in Philadelphia

A candlelight vigil will pay tribute to a trans woman murdered in Philadelphia today (13 September).

Police are still searching for information about the victim, a 27-year-old who was shot in the head.

Beloved by the north-eastern US city’s gay community, director of the Office of LGBT Affairs Gloria Casarez said Kyra Kruz was a visible, friendly presence.

She said: ‘This has been surprising and upsetting to all of us.’

Authorities found Kruz’s body about 5am in a wooded area on 3 September, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

Before the murder, she had bought food and drinks about half a mile from the crime scene.

Kruz worked for a year at the Gay and Lesbian Latino AIDS Education Initiative, a non-profit group that focuses on HIV/AIDS outreach.

Executive director Elicia Gonzales said Kruz turned up one day in 2010, wanting to know what she could do to help.

Initially stationed at the front desk, she later got a job counseling clients.

Gonzales said: ‘She just immediately made the office light up. She didn’t think of it as her job.

‘It was her life’s calling to give back to the community.’

Kruz was also active in gay pride events, designing costumes and choreographing performance routines.

She was private about her personal life, and suffered from drug addiction in the past.

Community activist Jaci Adams said: ‘Kyra hit some bumps and bruises in life, but she never lost hope.’

No arrests have been made, so police have asked anyone with information to call the homicide unit at +1 215 686 3334.

The vigil will take place tonight at William Way LGBT Community Center at 8pm.

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