Over the weekend, the body of Bee Love Slater, a 23-year-old transgender woman was found burned beyond recognition inside a car. According to reports, Slater is the 18th trans woman to be killed this year.
Hendry County investigators said as of now the investigation into Slater's death is ongoing. They cannot title it a hate crime until a clear motive has been established, but Slater's best friend, Kenard Wade thinks the vicious manner of her death is a clear sign.
"She had a really, really good heart," Wade told CBS Fort Myers affiliate Wink. "She would never harm anyone, never put anyone in harm's way. How could someone go to that extreme to get rid of her?"
Wade continued and said Slater received several death threats because she's trans and expressed a desire to leave the area for safety reasons.
Slater's death falls in line with an on-going trend of violence against trans women, particularly black trans women. The Human Rights Campaign states 18 trans women have been murdered in 2019, while 26 members of the trans community were killed in 2018 and 29 trans deaths were recorded in 2017.
CBS News reports that the week of Slater's death, Bailey Reeves, 17 transgender teen was shot and killed in Baltimore on Labor Day.