Metro family still want answers in 2020 murder of transgender woman


INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — The family of a transgender woman want to know what happened to her.

It’s been exactly a year since the body of Aerrion Burnett was found lifeless on the side of the road in Independence.

“Aerrion might not have been anything to anybody else, but to us, but you know, that was our blood, my sibling,” said Tamara Griffin, sister of Griffin. “I just want some justice, I want peace. I want to be able to sleep at night not wondering why and who. That’s what I want for me and my family.”

Independence police didn’t provide FOX4 with any new details in this case.

Griffin believe investigators could be doing more.

“As time went, like it’s dying off. I’m not going to let it die.  I just want to know. I want to know why, I want to know who,” Griffin said.

Today and 365 days later, the family says they are essentially in the same spot emotionally, anxiously waiting for any type of update in the case.

Burnett transitioned at the age of 16 and her family embraced her new identity. They never imagined her life would end like this, now one of several black trans women killed in the metro in recent years.

Her family still believe this could very well be a hate crime.

“The life of the party. Love to cook. Kept a smile, give you the shift off her back. Aerrion didn’t have that kind of crowd. Not the kind of company he kept. Could be random. Your mind just wanders, jumps from here to there, you don’t know,” Griffin said.

Griffin said until there is a break in this case, the family will continue to shine their own spotlight on a case they believe is going cold.

“When they took Aerrion, they took a piece of us and it hurts bad. Please, somebody say something. If I have to do this every year, then that’s what I’ll do,” Griffin said.

If you know anything about this case, please contact the Tips Hotline at (816) 474-TIPS, IPD tips at (816) 325-7777 or email

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