Family grieves as Independence police seek clues in killing of transgender woman

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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Detectives in Independence continue to seek tips in the murder of a transgender woman last weekend.

Aerrion Burnett, 37, was found shot and killed Sept. 19 near 13th and Brookside. Her body was in a grassy area near the road.

While police are still searching for a motive and the suspect, her family waits.

“Aerrion was a beautiful soul,” said her sister, Tamara Griffin. “I don’t care what time of the day, evening, what day it was, Aerrion stayed the same, kept the same attitude. She was someone that you would have loved to have in your life.”

Burnett’s death is the latest example of the increasing violence against transgender people, especially among Black and Latina trans women.

According to data collected by the National Center for Transgender Equality, in the U.S. there have been at least 28 transgender people murdered so far in 2020, surpassing the total for all of 2019.

Burnett’s family plans to lay her to rest on Oct. 3.  

If you saw Aerrion around the time of her death or know anything about this case, please contact the Tips Hotline at (816) 474-TIPS, IPD tips at (816) 325-7777 or email leads@indepmo.org.

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