August 13, 2014 at 10:34 am EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
Baltimore memorial service to honor slain trans women
police, Northeast Baltimore, transgender, gay news, Washington Blade, Candy

Baltimore police continue to investigate the murders of two transgender women of color that have left the city’s LGBT residents on edge. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

A memorial service for two transgender women of color who were murdered in Baltimore in recent months will take place on Saturday.

The Spiritual Empowerment Center (2129 N. Charles St.) will host the service in honor of Mia Henderson and Kandy Hall that will take place on Aug. 16 from 1 – 4 p.m.

The body of Mia Henderson, whose brother is Los Angeles Clippers shooting guard Reggie Bullock, was found near Lake Ashburton on July 16. Authorities six weeks earlier discovered Kandy Hall dead in a field in Baltimore’s Coldstream-Homestead-Montebello neighborhood.

LGBT advocates with whom the Washington Blade has spoken in recent weeks say Henderson and Hall’s deaths have left the city’s trans residents on edge.

“The deaths of Mia and Kandy remind us that despite making tremendous strides for LGBT equality, there is still work to do to ensure that our community is safe and free from violence,” said Equality Maryland Executive Director Carrie Evans.

Court records indicate both Henderson and Hall were arrested for prostitution in Baltimore over the last decade.

Acting Capt. J. Eric Kowalczyk of the Baltimore Police Department told the Blade on Wednesday their murders are “both still active investigations.”

“Detectives have received a number of tips but are still asking the public for more information,” he said.

Jacqueline Robarge, executive director of Power Inside, a Baltimore-based organization that works with sex workers and other vulnerable populations, told the Blade on Tuesday she feels the police have not adequately responded to the concerns of the city’s LGBT residents.

She said many of her group’s clients share the same concern.

“They are concerned that these murders are not being prioritized,” Robarge told the Blade. “It’s certainly harder to find witnesses if the community is largely homeless, addicted or engaged in sex work. That shouldn’t be an end point.”

Anyone with information about the murders of Henderson and Hall is urged to call Metro Crime Stoppers at (866) 7-LOCKUP.

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

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