54 Year Old Latina Trans Woman from Washington Kidnapped, Tortured, and Murdered by Estranged Partner, Found in Mexican Cemetery

Reyna Hernandez
Via Facebook

Reyna Hernandez, a 54-year-old Latina trans woman from Renton, Seattle has been missing for two weeks. On March 8, 20204, locals discovered her body in Mexicali, Mexico.

The Content Notes

As a result of the brutality involved note this post contains graphic details of violence against a trans woman who did not survive her injuries. Please take care in reading this content. Also, we discuss domestic violence, immigration, and kidnapping.

The Crime

First Reyna disappeared after a phone conversation with a friend on February 26, 2024. When she didn’t turn up the hair salon she owned, friends notified the police on Tuesday, February 28.

Evidence recovered in the search warrants indicates that Ms. Hernandez was taken against her will, and we do not believe her car is currently in the area.”

Renton Reporter

Then in a horrible turn of events, Reyna’s Mexicali officials found in Mexicali, Mexico on March 8, 2024. Responding to that discovery, Renton police identified the remains as Reyna’s. Someone left her body in a cemetery near Tijuana.

In brief, according to Seattle’s Fox 13, authorities confirmed that there were signs of torture. They say Reyna was bound at the hands and feet, shot in the head and wrapped in a blanket.

Other reports are more detailed. Sintesit reports. The original reporting is in Spanish and misgenders Reyna. I think it is important to understand the depravity underscoring the violence. But don’t read if you need to keep these violent images out of your mind.

According to the report, the victim was found wrapped in a white blanket and had multiple signs of torture, especially on her swollen face and bruises throughout her abdomen. At the scene where the victim was found, 15 black caps with pink and green seals were scattered. The body was discovered by a man who went to the cemetery on Saturday morning, around 9 a.m., when he saw the wrapped body and where [her] face and long red hair were shown

According to the autopsy report, a firearm projectile penetrating the skull left a fatal wound.

Please note that some of the early reporting misgenders Reyna.

There’s a strong indication Reyna died as a result of a domestic dispute. Previously, coworkers told Fox 13 that Reyna had come to work with a black eye in the past. Mexicali officers took an unidentified 61 year old man into custody. Sources report Reyna’s partner Anthony Louis Hernandez was 61. The suspect may also use the names “Alex” “Alejandro” and “Chaito.” Reyna’s body has a tattoo of the name “Alex” on her leg.

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According to Renton police, Reyna’s phone pinged from her soon to-be-ex partner’s home. However, there was no trace of her. Now police in both jurisdictions are tracking the movement of her vehicle using interstate highway cameras.

Working together, the two forces will determine where Reyna was killed. That determination will clarify who has jurisdiction.

Honoring Reyna

Reyna’s family and friends have naturally been gathering at her salon in solidarity and to seek comfort.

Reyna was born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico. She subsequently moved to Renton, Washington to seek what her family describes as “a better life.”

Her sister, Sara Carilla, told FOX13 the salon was always Reyna’s ‘happy place.’ On Monday, friends and family honored Reyna with ann evening vigil with flowers, candles, and many prayers. Reyna was Roman Catholic. She attended mass hours before she disappeared.

In summary, her sister Sara Carillo says Hernandez was a dreamer, a hardworking and empathetic person with a lot of love to give.

“I walk into the salon and I smell her perfume, sense her joy, and hear all the stories that people share when they come,” Carillo told FOX 13 in Spanish. 


Reyna’s family are working with federal officials. They hope to return Reyna’s body home. The length of time for that determination is unclear.

Her sister Sara Carrillo, remembers Hernandez as a happy, loving person. She told KING 5+

“The only thing we wanted was to find her and we found her,” she said. “Not in the way that we hoped, but we found her and we thank God for that.”

Furthermore, the family has established a GoFundMe to help with Reyna’s final expenses.

The Context

Reyna is the fourth trans person whose violent death reported in 2024 to date. She is the second Latina trans woman and the second trans woman. At 59, she is the oldest victim to date. All four victims were BIPOC.

I can’t help but notice that the two most recent victims each owned hair salons – Torrence Chevy Hill owned Evollusion in Atlanta, Georgia and Reyna Hernandez owned Reyna Hair Salon in Renton, Washington.

In any case, there’s nothing to suggest any connection at all except the possibility that they both knew their murderers.

In any case, this illustrates the vulnerability of all trans folx to the hate rhetoric filling our lives. Two people with the resiliency and resources to open their own businesses are dead. Does that change our understanding of how anti-trans violence manifests? Economic and class privileges are not preventative on their own.

Rest in power, Reyna. Your death is a caution to all of us about the deep threat of domestic violence. Yet even among the dreadful details, your life and how you walked through this world rise up to remind us that you defined your legacy, not the person who killed you.

Even in our brokenness about Reyna, we must find resources to support other trans women in similar situations.

May your memory be a revolution.

This is our list

This is our list of transgender, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming neighbors who have been victims of the campaign of terror in 2024. Please do not copy, modify, or share this list without attribution.

  1. Kitty Monroe – January 1, 2024. Phoenix, Arizona. Age 43.
  2. Nex Benedict – February 8, 2024. Owasso, Oklahoma. Age 16.
  3. Righteous Torrence ‘TK’ Chevy Hill – February 29, Atlanta. Georgia. Age 35.
  4. Reyna Hernandez – Between Feb 28 and March 28, location TBD. Age 54.
Trans deaths


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