One year later, South Side trans woman Amari Hill’s murder still unsolved
A little over a year ago, the body of Amari Hill, a 22-year-old transgender girl, was found in an alley in Richmond’s south side with a gun shot wound.
Hill’s murder is yet be solved, and is one of 226 reported murders against transgender people in the last year. Trans people face violence about 4 times as often as cisgendered people, and stats in the US for 2014 show an increase in trans violence nation wide.
While the trans and greater Richmond community continues to morn, Major Steve Drew with the Richmond Police Department remains hopeful in their ability to close the case.
“We’ve made some progress in the case, but we still need the community’s assistance,” said Drew in a phone call today. “[We] have leads, but it’s like a puzzle and there are some pieces missing.”
Drew said RPD are searching for two black males seen leaving the area of the murder in a silver vehicle. The police canvassed the area shortly after the incident and asked for information but haven’t turned up enough evidence to charge anyone.
The two suspects were described as:
1 – Black male in his 20′s, about 5’9 medium build, black jacket with white stripe,
2 – Black male in his 20′s, smaller build, black jacket.
Though not being charged as a hate crime, Maj. Drew said RPD was investigating the case “just like we would do with any incident or homicide or violent act.”
“We believe there were some individuals out there that night who might know something things, we are asking them to come forward,” said Drew.
“We will solve this case, there’s just a few missing pieces we’d like to have.”
Drew did admit they are still working on a motive.
Hill’s case is by no means the only murder in Richmond, or in Virginia. Compared to cases like UVA student Hannah Graham who’s remains and killer were found within weeks of her disappearance. The inevitable comparison, with Hill being a trans person of color, has to be made.
Major Drew acknowledged this and said he understood peoples frustrations with the Hill case.
“I want to reassure the community and the city of Richmond that we are treating this homicide like every other open case we have,” said Drew. “The detectives still have this case in their load, there are monthly meetings on the case.”
Despite the length of time since the murder happened, Drew was optimistic RPD would resolve it.
“I am feeling confident on the progress we’ve made,” said Drew. “We will solve this case.”
“When someone is murdered and then they get misgendered [deadnamed] sometimes by systems [law enforcement, media, etc.] and sometimes even family, we see that as a further act of violence against that person.”January 9, 2017
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