Home » Natasha Kieanna, 37: Transwoman Found Dead In Detroit
As the LGBTQIA+ community continues to raise their voices for equity and equality, there has been increasing violence against transpeople. As politicians argue over if we should or shouldn’t have genderless bathrooms, transwomen of Color are finding themselves victims of physical and verbal assaults. The mysterious death of Natasha Kieanna has puzzled those following this story and has been reported on as being a crime, however, investigators haven’t given a public update on her official cause of death.
The last time Bernetha Shelton saw her daughter was on December 28, 2020, during the holiday season. Natasha, a transwoman, stopped by her mother’s home to grab a plate of leftovers from a holiday dinner, but that wasn’t the last time she was seen, altogether. The following day, Natasha was spotted at the Cranbrook Detroit motel where she was reportedly living, located near Eight Mile and Greenfield. She is said to have been by herself and was seen getting into her vehicle, a 2005 Saturn SUV.
According to management at the hotel, Natasha Kieanna left all of her personal belongings inside of her room and before leaving, she stopped by the office to make a payment. Then, Natasha disappeared, and for weeks, there weren’t any answers as to what happened following her departure from the motel. Her mother made impassioned public pleas for her daughter’s safe return, but in January 2021, authorities returned with tragic news.
“She always let me know where she was,” her mom said. “I’m just sick to my heart, my heart is broken. I just want my child.”
On January 12, the body of Natasha Kieanna was found inside of her vehicle on Detroit’s west side. She was found in the passenger’s side of the car and a resident in the area told reporters that the vehicle had been parked there for about two weeks. The resident also said that they called police multiple times and it took weeks for them to come out and inspect the vehicle.
Authorities determined there were no signs of foul play or trauma, and they claimed that upon immediate inspection of the body, there were no signs of decomposition, either. Temperatures in Detroit in late December reached highs in the mid-40s and lows into the 20s as freezing temperatures plagued the city.
“She was a beautiful person,” said Bernetha. “She was loved all over.” The grieving mother also shared that Natasha Kieanna got herself “mixed up with the wrong crowd” and believed that her daughter’s death was suspicious. “A week, my baby sat there in the car a week and froze to death… They kept calling Detroit police and they never came out.”
It’s reported that police were investigating Natasha’s death as natural causes, but there haven’t been public updates from the medical examiner regarding Natasha’s cause of death.
Pride Source reported that the Trans Sistas of Color Project – Detroit also issued a statement.
“TSCOP-D would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Natasha Keianna,” said Vice President Jey’nce Mizrahi Poindexter. “We have not been made privy to all the details and information surrounding the loss of our sister but we eagerly await more news. We will continue to love and appreciate each life represented in our community as all life has value and meaning.”
Anyone with information about this case is urged to contact Detroit’s Eighth Precinct Investigative Unit at (313) 596-5840 or Crime Stoppers at (800) SPEAK-UP.
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