Dallas police enlist help of FBI after second transgender woman killed in 2 weeks

By Erin Donaghue

/ CBS News

Dallas police say they are "concerned" and have asked the FBI for help after a second transgender woman was slain in two weeks. Chynal Lindsey, 26, was found dead Saturday with "obvious signs of homicidal violence," Dallas police chief U. Renee Hall said at a Monday press conference. CBS DFW reports Lindsey's body was pulled from White Rock Lake.

Chynal Lindsey CBS DFW

Lindsey's murder comes just two weeks after another Dallas transgender woman, Muhlaysia Booker, was found shot to death on a road bordering a golf course less than a mile from where Lindsey's body was recovered. Booker, 23, had been assaulted in an unrelated incident in April and video of the brutal attack went viral, drawing national outrage.

"We know this is the second individual who is transgender who is deceased in our community and we are concerned," Hall told reporters Monday. "We are actively and aggressively investigating this case and we have reached out to our federal partners for assistance."

Hall said the FBI can help local investigators determine whether either crime was motivated by hate. In a statement Monday, the FBI said they are working with Dallas Police and are prepared to assist if any federal civil rights violations are determined.

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It remains unclear whether Lindsey's murder could be related to a string of other deaths and assaults of African American Dallas transgender women, which police have said could be linked. Dallas Police Major Vincent Weddington said last month that Booker's slaying, the shooting death of a transgender woman in a car in October 2018 and a stabbing attack on a transgender woman last month all have "similarities," but said investigators haven't determined definitive links between them. All are unsolved.

Transgender woman shot to death in Dallas weeks after being attacked on video

On Monday, Weddington said investigators also have another open homicide case from 2015 in which the victim was an African American transgender woman.

When asked whether she is concerned whether a serial killer could be targeting Dallas transgender women, Hall said she had no evidence to support that. However, she asked the community to remain vigilant and come forward with any information that could help solve the crimes. She said investigators have met with local LGBTQ leaders to ensure members of the community know who they can contact if they feel unsafe.

Advocacy groups say attacks on transgender people in the U.S. are on the rise, "CBS This Morning" reported. Last year, the Human Rights Campaign tracked at least 26 deaths due to fatal violence. The majority of victims were black transgender women.

First published on June 3, 2019 / 7:16 PM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Erin Donaghue

Erin Donaghue reports and writes for CBSNews.com on topics including criminal justice, social justice and culture. Follow her on Twitter at @ErinDonaghue.

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