With much sadness, I am writing to update you on the latest victim to the scourge of violence against trans women of color in the United States. Her name was Josie Berrios. She was 28 years old and a native of Ithaca, New York. Josie Berrios (also known as Kendra Adams and Kimbella Rosé) was found dead in Ithaca on Tuesday; she is the 13th trans person of color to be murdered in the United States this year. Berrios was one of the original and most beloved performers at Ithaca’s House of Merlot, a drag performance troupe that founded the Ithaca College Drag show for the Trevor Project in 2012 and has been raising funds for LGBTQ youth ever since.
Josie’s body was discovered in a partially constructed building in the Collegetown neighborhood, near Cornell University. Her body was partially burned and was found near a can of gasoline in the building.
You can read more details about the crime scene and evidence tied to the arrest via the Ithaca Voice.
The Ithaca Police Department is looking to speak to anyone who might have seen someone walking or hitchhiking on Ellis Hollow Road, Turkey Hill Road or Ellis Hollow Creek Road between 5 and 6:45 a.m. Tuesday. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Ithaca Police Department by any of the following means:
- Police Dispatch: 607-272-3245
- Crime Stoppers Tipline: 607-697-0333 Drug Tipline 607-330-0000
- Email Tip Address: http://www.cityofithaca.org/FormCenter/Ithaca-Police-Department-5/Ithaca-Police- Department-Tipline-47
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ithacapolice Twitter: https://twitter.com/ithacapolice
- Instagram: ithacapolice
Video evidence led police to arrest 45 year old Michael Davis on two counts of second degree felony murder and one count of felony arson. Davis and Josie had a personal relationship which is not surprising as interpersonal violence is one of the biggest sources of fatalities for trans women of color.
Per Autostraddle: According to the House of Merlot, Berrios’s funeral costs have been covered and any GoFundMe accounts you see claiming to be for Berrios are fake.
Rest in power, Josie. Your generosity and support of your community will be a legacy long remembered. You deserved better. We will continue to resist transphobia in our community and create more spaces that respect and uplift trans women of color.
The list of trans women killed in 2017 thus far.
- Mesha Caldwell – Mississippi (January 4), 41 years old
- Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow – Sioux Falls (January 7), 28 years old
- JoJo Striker – Toledo, Ohio (February 8), 23 years old
- KeKe Collier – Chicago (February 21), 24 years old
- Chyna Gibson – New Orleans (February 25), 31 years old
- Ciara McElveen – New Orleans (February 27), 26 years old
- Jaquarrius Holland (Brown) – Monroe, Louisiana (February 19), 18 years old
- Alphonza Watson – Baltimore (March 22), 38 years old
- Chay Reed – Miami-Dade (April 19), 28 years old
- Brenda Bostick – New York City (April 25), 59 years old
- Sherrell Faulkner – Charlotte, NC (May 16), 46 years old
- Kenne McFadden – San Antonio (June 6), 27 years old
- Josie Berrios – Ithaca, NY (June 13), 28 years old
Resources in Western Pennsylvania that can use your donation to support black trans women and/or offer supports & services to those who need them. This list is not comprehensive. TransPride Pittsburgh is an umbrella group and the best lead for referrals to other organizations.
- TransPride Pittsburgh
- Garden of Peace
- Sisters Pgh
- Persad Center
- GLCC of Pittsburgh
- Black Femme Excellence Co
- Erie Sisters & Brothers Transgender Support Group
- Transfamily of NWPA