Bee Love Slater would have celebrated her 24th birthday next week. Tragically, she died before that could happen, becoming the 18th known transgender homicide victim this year in the United States alone.
The South Florida resident was killed on Wednesday, according to Hendry County Investigators. It took two days to positively identify Slater, who was burned to death in her car in Clewiston, say police.
“The body is burnt beyond recognition,” Captain Susan Harrelle told NewNowNext on Thursday. “We can’t positively say who it is.”
On Friday evening, the Hendry County Sheriff’s Department sent out a media release identifying Slater by her deadname. By then, social media was buzzing with reports that Slater, better known as “Bee Love” was the victim of the car fire reported by local media.
A spokesperson at Brown & Bussey Funeral Services confirmed to NewNowNext, that Slater was Bee, a name she used in life.
“Bee Love was loved by many family, friends and neighbors,” the funeral home wrote in a Facebook statement.
Police are still working to determine a motive, they say. No arrests have been made.
Slater’s friend Kenard Wade told WINK News that Slater suspected someone was out to get her. Slater reportedly texted Kenard the night of her death and said she should leave town.
Harrelle says it was difficult to recall if Hendry County had seen similarly violent deaths in recent years. Most homicides reported in the county are shootings, she said.
“If you saw anything suspicious we are asking that you contact us immediately,” Hendry County Sheriff Steve Whidden said in a statement.
As we gather at convenings and community spaces, our sisters are in constant danger. This is why we fight—so Bee and Bailey, taken from us just this week, aren’t forgotten. We never forget why we do this work: to keep our people alive, thriving, and fighting for liberation. pic.twitter.com/YOWnXA48XT
— TransgenderLawCenter (@TransLawCenter) September 6, 2019
Earlier this week, 17-year-old Bailey Reeves was shot and killed in Baltimore. Police do not believe she was targeted.