Body of 34-Year-Old Trans Woman Jenna Franks Found in North Carolina Community

Jenna Franks
Jenna Franks via Facebook

Her name was Jenna Franks.

On Wednesday, February 24, 2021, the body of 34-year-old Jenna Franks was discovered in Jacksonville, North Carolina.

From The Daily News (misgendering and deadnaming at that link):

According to a news release from JPD, Jacksonville City Street personnel were clearing the ditch area when they saw a body located in the wooded area adjacent to a creek. Workers led officers to the body, located  between the bike trail and Ellis Boulevard, as officers secured the area and began to conduct a death investigation.

Police have not released much information regarding her death, but they also haven’t ruled anything out. Local media and law enforcement continue to deadname and misgender her.

Jenna was involved in the The Onslow County LGBTQ+ Community Center. Director Dennis Biancuzzo shared some of Jenna’s empathy and efforts to support other folks experiencing homelessness

Jenna found it very hard to move from the world of being a person without a home, to the world most all of us are comfortable in, within our homes. I recall at one point Jenna get upset with me because we were going to work on some practical life skills that would go into her time as a panhandler. It wasn’t that Jenna was mad because she’d miss a few buck’s, she was upset because on a specific day and a specific time, a local police officer who had gotten to know Jenna would meet her with a fresh baked large pizza, and Jenna didn’t want to miss the pizza connection. Diving a little deeper into this disappointment, it wasn’t that Jenna couldn’t live without a pizza, she would only eat a slice, but that Pizza was a treat she shared with other homeless folks she created friendships with along the way. Another instance was to meet a food giveaway, not anything that Jenna bothered to keep for herself, but she knew if she went, there would be extra food for the folks that lived in an encampment back in the woods.

Jenna was born and raised in Lexington, North Carolina. She lived briefly in Mt. Airy, North Carolina. She studied at Davidson Community College.

Her social media feed is filled with a mix of fun and sober content, lots of family photos, and shares of things she loved, especially music.

It is very sad that Jenna died such an isolated, mysterious death.

While her heart was clearly big, her personal struggles laid out on social media are heartbreaking.

She deserved a chance to blossom into her whole self, including her gender identity. She had supportive friends, but also a lot of unkind people who felt the need to judge her publicly rather than just keep their opinions to themselves. That’s so much weight to bear.

Anyone that may have information that would assist in the investigation may contact Detective Kymberly Schott at 910-938-6414 or or Crime Stoppers at 910-938-3273.

Crime Stoppers offers cash rewards of up to $2,500 for information determined to be of value to law enforcement.  Callers to Crime Stoppers are not required to reveal their identities. Information can also be anonymously texted via Text-A-Tip by typing TIP4CSJAX and your message to 274637 (CRIMES) Please refer to Case 21-00540 when calling or texting about this investigation.

Rest in power, Jenna. You deserved a full life with acceptance and joy and love. You deserved many more nail painting sessions and makeup tutorials that you enjoyed. We deserved more lessons in compassion and kindness from your example.

May your memory be a revolution.

This is our list of transgender, gender-nonconforming, and non-binary neighbors lost to violence in 2021. Please do not copy or share this list without attribution.

  1. Tyianna Davarea Alexandra – Chicago, Illinois. January 6, 2021. Age 28.
  2. Samuel Edmund Damián Valentín – Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico. January 9, 2021. Age 21.
  3. Dominique Jackson – Jackson, Mississippi. January 25, 2021. Age 30.
  4. Bianca ‘Muffin’ Bankz – Atlanta, Georgia. January 21, 2021. Age 31.
  5. Fifty Bandzzz – Baton Rouge, Louisiana. January 28, 2021. Age 21.
  6. Alexus “Kimmy” Braxton – Miami, Florida. February 4, 2021. Age 45.
  7. Chynaa Carrillo – New Wilmington, Pennsylvania. February 18, 2021. Age 24.
  8. Jeffrey ‘JJ’ Bright – Ambridge, Pennsylvania. February 22, 2021. Age 16.
  9. Jasmine Cannady – Ambridge, Pennsylvania. February 22, 2021. Age 22.

We are also still monitoring these supicious deaths from 20/21 (in addition to the 44 documented killings.)

Trans lives


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