Thursday, September 13, 2012
PHILADELPHIA — Homicide detectives are investigating the killing of a well known member of Philadelphia’s LGBT community, Kyra Kruz, a 27-year-old transgender woman who was found dead in a wooded area of the city’s Frankford area. She had suffered a gunshot wound to the head.
According to a police spokesperson, Kruz was last seen at a WaWa convenience store about half a mile from where patrol officers found her body about 5 a.m. on Sept. 3.
The spokesperson said that detectives are asking that anyone with information about the crime to come forward.
Gloria Casarez, director of Philadelphia’s Office of LGBT Affairs, said that Kruz, was well known in the city’s LGBT community.
“She was a visible, friendly presence. This has been surprising and upsetting to all of us,” said Casarez.
A childhood friend, Amanda Cerini told The Philadelphia Inquirer that Kruz was primarily raised by a single mother, and moved to Philadelphia after high school. Though she went by Kruz for years, she recently had her last name legally changed to Cordova.
Kruz worked for about a year at the Gay and Lesbian Latino AIDS Education Initiative, a nonprofit group that focuses on HIV/AIDS outreach. Elicia Gonzales, the executive director, said Kruz turned up one day in 2010, wanting to know what she could do to help. She was initially stationed at the front desk, but later got a job counseling clients.
“She just immediately made the office light up,” Gonzales said. “She didn’t think of it as her job. It was her life’s calling to give back to the community.”