Transgender woman found strangled to death in Queens apartment

by Michael K. Lavers

National News Editor

Thursday April 1, 2010

Police continue to investigate the death of a transgender woman who was found murdered inside her Queens apartment on Tuesday, March 30.

The Daily News reported Amanda Gonzalez-Andujar's friends found her naked body on her bed in her ransacked apartment on 62nd Street in Ridgewood. The medical examiner concluded Gonzalez-Andujar's killer strangled her to death.

The victim's friends had not heard from her since Friday, March 26, but one of Gonzalez-Andujar's neighbors reportedly heard a loud argument in her apartment. The New York Police Department responded, but nobody answered the door.

Investigators continue to speculate a man Gonzalez-Andujar had been dating may have killed her, but she is the latest transgender New Yorker to have either been killed or attacked over the last two years.

An Onondaga County jury convicted Dwight DeLee last July of first-degree manslaughter as a hate crime and criminal possession of a weapon for shooting Lateisha Green to death and wounding her brother outside a Syracuse house party in Nov. 2008. Gilberto Ortiz, 32, and Trinidad Tapia, 19, face hate crimes charges for allegedly attacking Leslie Mora, 31, along Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights last June. And Nathaniel Mims and Rasheed Thomas allegedly assaulted Carmella Etienne with rocks and bottles last July as she walked home from a convenience store near her St. Albans apartment.

Both the Queens Pride House and the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund expressed concern about ongoing anti-transgender violence in the five boroughs.

"As organizations serving the transgender community, we are very concerned about the safety of transgender women within our community," the organizations said in a statement. "We condemn the violence against Amanda Gonzalez-Andujar and encourage swift action by law enforcement to apprehend suspects, and to fully investigate this brutal crime and bring all appropriate charges."

Back in Ridgewood, Gonzalez-Andujar's friends continue to mourn her death.

"Amanda is someone's daughter, cousin, niece, aunt, friend and sister," "mizzmelodie" commented to the Daily News.

Based in Washington, D.C., Michael K. Lavers has appeared in the New York Times, BBC, WNYC, Huffington Post, Village Voice, Advocate and other mainstream and LGBT media outlets. He is an unapologetic political junkie who thoroughly enjoys living inside the Beltway.