Her name was Zoella Rose Martinez, she also went by Zo Zo or Zoey. She was 20-years-old. Born and raised in Seattle, Washington, she was a Latina trans woman who had her whole life before her. And while her death was not reported at the time, her family confirmed her identity recently to a local LGBTQIA+ organization.
Because her death was underreported and thus not included in the official death toll of trans, gender nonconforming, and nonbinary neighbors killed in the campaign of terror targeting them across the nation and around the world. Zoey’s death now raises that total to 41 so far.
Zoey met with the man who murdered her because she believed he had stolen $1000 from her bank account. She arranged with a friend to meet her a the rendezvous point. And she still ended up dead. From the Seattle Times.
Jacaree Rashad Hardy is accused of fatally shooting Zoella Martinez, 20, around 8:45 p.m. Aug. 31 and leaving her body hours later on the north side of Seattle Fire Station 21, in the 7300 block of Greenwood Avenue North, according to the charges.
They caught the son of a bitch who killed her, presumably over $1000 at this point.
Martinez’s friend was late arriving and when she and her boyfriend pulled into the lot, they could see Martinez seated inside a car parked next to Martinez’s vehicle. The driver of the other car sped out of the lot and the friend attempted to follow, but with the other driver hitting speeds of 100 mph, the friend lost sight of the vehicle, the charges say.
When Martinez didn’t return to the lot to retrieve her vehicle, her friend reported her missing to the King County Sheriff’s Office just before 11 p.m. on Aug. 31.
Around 5 a.m. the next day, a man flagged down a Seattle police officer and directed the officer to a woman’s body in the alley next to Fire Station 21. The woman did not have a cellphone, identification or any other property on her, the charges say.
As news of an unidentified homicide victim spread, sheriff’s detectives contacted Seattle police detectives and quickly connected the missing person case with the homicide investigation.
Five bullets were recovered from Martinez’s body during an autopsy and her wounds were to the left side of her upper torso, indicating she’d been shot by someone to her left, say the charges. She also had burns consistent with being shot at close range.
Zoey’s family arranged a vigil and funeral in mid-September, then offered a reward for the arrest of her killer. A month later, he’s arrested and facing second degree homicide charges along with other.
Zoey’s social media feeds are filled with joy, curiosity, and generosity. Her birthday this past spring was tied to a fundraiser. She repeatedly encouraged her mother in her struggle with COVID-19. Her death is felt so deeply by her family and friends, it is just heartbreaking. They loved her so much. It was her family that released information that she was a young trans woman.
Zoey is the forty-first trans, nonbinary or gender nonconforming person reported killed in 2021. Thirty-eight of these neighbors have been BIPOC.. 28 of these victims were under the age of 30. That we know of, as many deaths go unreported or unacknowledged. In the first 284 days of 2021, there has been a murder every 6.9 days on average.
Rest in power, Zoey. You deserved so much more from this world – I’m so grateful you had your family and friends, but grieve the years you didn’t get to live. You took precautions, you tried to take care of yourself, you deserved to not be robbed, to not confront someone, to simply live your life without being victimized repeatedly. You deserved to soar in this life. I am so sorry we let you down.
May your memory be a revolution.
Our list of transgender, gender, and non-binary neighbors lost to violence in 2021. Please do not copy or share this list without attribution.
- Tyianna Davarea Alexandra — Chicago, Illinois. January 6, 2021. Age 28.
- Samuel Edmund Damián Valentín — Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico. January 9, 2021. Age 21.
- Dominique Jackson — Jackson, Mississippi. January 25, 2021. Age 30.
- Bianca ‘Muffin’ Bankz — Atlanta, Georgia. January 21, 2021. Age 31.
- Fifty Bandzzz — Baton Rouge, Louisiana. January 28, 2021. Age 21.
- Alexus “Kimmy” Braxton — Miami, Florida. February 4, 2021. Age 45.
- Chynaa Carrillo — New Wilmington, Pennsylvania. February 18, 2021. Age 24.
- Jeffrey ‘JJ’ Bright — Ambridge, Pennsylvania. February 22, 2021. Age 16.
- Jasmine Cannady — Ambridge, Pennsylvania. February 22, 2021. Age 22.
- Jenna Franks — Jacksonville, North Carolina, February 24, 2021. Age 34. **
- Diamond Nicole ‘Kyree’ Sanders — Cincinnati, Ohio. March 3, 2021. Age 23.
- Rayanna Pardo — Los Angeles, California, March 17, 2021. Age 26. ***
- Aidelen Evans — Port Arthur, Texas, March 2021. Age 24 ****
- Dominique Lucious — Springfield, Missouri, April 8, 2021. Age 26.
- Jaida Peterson — Charlotte, North Carolina, April 4, 2021. Age 29.
- Remy Fennell — Charlotte, North Carolina, April 15, 2021. Age 28.
- Tiara Banks — Chicago, Illinois, April 21, 2021. Age 26.
- Natalia Smüt Lopez — San Jose, California, April 23, 2021. Age 24.
- Tiffany Thomas — Dallas, Texas, April 21, 2021. Age 38.
- Iris Santos — Houston, Texas, April 23, 2021. Age 22.
- Jahaira M. DeAlto — Boston, Massachusetts, May 2, 2021. Age 42.
- Keri Washington — Clearwater, Florida, May 1, 2021. Age 49.
- Danny Henson — Baltimore, Maryland, May 4, 2021. Age 31.
- Whispering Wind Bear Spirit — York, Pennsylvania, May 4, 2021 Age 41
- Sophie Vasquez — Atlanta, Georgia, May 4, 2021. Age 36.
- Serenity Hollis — Albany, Georgia, May 8, 2021. Age 24.
- Oliver “Ollie” Taylor — Gervais, Oregon, May 19, 2021. Age 27.
- Thomas Hardin — York, South Carolina, May 2, 2021. Age 35.
- Poe Black / Oliver Jackson — Slab City, Niland, California, May 11, 2021 (estimated). Age 21.
- EJ Boykin / Novaa Watson — Lynchburg, Virginia, May 14, 2021. Age 23.
- Taya Ashton — Suitland, Maryland, July 17, 2021. Age 20.
- Shai Vanderpump — Trenton, New Jersey, July 30, 2021. Age 23.
- Tierramarie Lewis — Cleveland, Ohio, June 12, 2021. Age 30.
- Miss CoCo — Dallas, Texas, August 7, 2021. Age 44.
- Pooh Johnson — Shreveport, Louisiana, August 23, 2021. Age 25.
- Disaya Monaee Smith — Dolton, Illinois, September 6, 2021. Age 32.
- Brianna Ulmer Hamilton — Chicago, Illinois, September 17, 2021. Age 25.
- Kier Laprice (Kartier) Solomon — Dallas, Texas, September 30, 2021. Age 21.
- Royal Poetical Starz — Miami Gardens, Florida, October 2, 2021. Age 26.
- Mel Robert Groves — Jackson, Mississippi, October 11, 2021. Age 25.
- Zoella “Zoey” Rose Martinez – Seattle, Washington, August 31, 2021. Age 20.
We are also still monitoring these suspicious deaths from 20/21 (in addition to the 44 documented killings.)
Haven Bailey — Villa Park, Illinois, May 24, 2021. Age 25.