Bee Love Slater, Black Transgender Woman, Found Slain In Torched Car

The South Florida death -- estimated to be the 18th killing of a transgender woman of color in the U.S. this year -- is being investigated as a homicide.

The death of a Black transgender woman whose body was found in a torched car in South Florida last week is being investigated as a homicide and possible hate crime, authorities said.

The body of Bee Love Slater, a 23-year-old trans woman, was found in a burned-out car on Sept. 4 in Clewiston. Her remains were so badly burned that it took investigators several days to identify her by dental records.

The Hendry County Sheriff鈥檚 Office is investigating the death as a homicide, telling NBC-2 it鈥檚 one of the most brutal killings the county has ever seen. Investigators said they had no suspects.

鈥淲e can鈥檛 say it鈥檚 a hate crime yet because we don鈥檛 know what the motive was,鈥 sheriff鈥檚 Capt. Susan Harrelle told ABC-7.

Harrelle told the Miami Herald there was no evidence Slater was bound and shot before the car was set ablaze, as some reports said. The sheriff鈥檚 office said earlier that the body was 鈥渂urned beyond recognition,鈥 according to The Palm Beach Post.

Bee Love Slater is the 18th known trans woman of color to be killed in the U.S. in 2019.
Bee Love Slater is the 18th known trans woman of color to be killed in the U.S. in 2019.

Slater had been receiving threatening messages on Facebook in the days before she was killed, her friend, Antorris Williams, told Out Magazine.

Slater 鈥減osted messages saying she felt as if people were after her to attack and hurt her and she had a conversation with one of her best friends the day she was murdered saying she wanted to leave鈥 the area, Williams said.

Slater is the 18th known transgender woman of color to be killed in the U.S. this year, the Human Rights Campaign estimates.

鈥淥ur society needs to work to ensure transpeople can live without fear,鈥 the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida wrote on Facebook in reaction to Slater鈥檚 death.

Gina Duncan, Equality Florida鈥檚 director of transgender equality, told the Miami Herald it鈥檚 鈥渇rustrating鈥 and 鈥渉eartbreaking鈥 to repeatedly witness 鈥渢he absolute slaughter of transgender people.鈥

Violence against the trans community reached an all-time high in 2017, according to a Human Rights Campaign report. In 2018, at least 26 transgender people were killed, the majority of them trans women of color.

Multiple outlets, including NBC-2 and ABC-7, identified Slater by her dead name 鈥 her given name before she identified as a woman 鈥 citing information from the sheriff鈥檚 office.