Heartbroken father of murdered Black trans woman Chae’Meshia Simms vows to ‘never stop looking’ for her killer

Emma Powys Maurice
·2-min read

The heartbroken father of Chae’Meshia Simms, a Black trans woman murdered in Virgina, has vowed he will “never stop looking” for her killer.

Simms, a 30-year-old known as ‘ChaeChae’ to those close to her, was found slumped across the driver’s seat of her mother’s rental car on the morning of 23 November. The car had been crashed into an alleyway and Simms had suffered a gunshot wound.

Emergency crews pronounced her dead at the scene, making her at least the 39th trans or gender non-conforming person to be murdered this year in the US alone, according to the Human Rights Campaign.

Simms’ father joined her friends and family at a candlelight vigil on 27 November, where he remembered his daughter as a “well-loved individual” who was “always caring for others”.

“With the help of the LGBT+ community, the support of the Richmond police department, as you can see out here with the community, we’re going to continue to keep looking,” WTVR reported his words.

He called her loss “tremendously heartbreaking” and said the family needs to know what happened. “We’re going to find out the reasoning behind it, so we can have closure as a family,” he promised.

To the person who killed his daughter, he had one message. “I ask ’em, turn yourself in,” he said. “We’re never going to stop looking. We’re never going to stop looking.”

Investigators are seeking surveillance video from the area between 5:00 am and 6:15 am from the morning of the incident. They have not figured out a motive or determined if it is a hate crime.

“I would like to see community members not disregard this death, that they get out in the community,” said Zakia McKensey, a trans woman and founder of local LGBT+ advocacy group Nationz Foundation.

“And if you know what happened… speak up, because so many times the murders of transgender women go unprosecuted and that needs to stop.”