Transgender Woman Found Dead, Beaten in Maryland Hotel Room - NBC4 Washington

Transgender Woman Found Dead, Beaten in Maryland Hotel Room

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    News4's Pat Collins reports on a murder at a Red Roof Inn in Rockville, Maryland. Police found a transgender woman dead inside a room over the weekend and believe she may have been involved with prostitution. (Published Monday, April 18, 2016)

    The person found dead this weekend in a hotel room in Rockville, Maryland was a transgender woman who may have been working as a prostitute, police said.

    Keyonna Blakeney, 22, was found dead, with trauma to the upper body, in a room of the Red Roof Inn on Shady Grove Road, Montgomery County police said.

    Blakeney's body was found about 11:50 a.m. Saturday. Police said they believe she was killed early that morning and ruled her death a homicide. 

    Court records show Blakeney was arrested at a hotel in Capitol Heights, Maryland, on April 3 and charged with committing a third-degree sex offense against a 14-year-old boy. Additional information on that alleged crime was not available immediately. 

    Photo credit: Facebook/keyonna.monroe.7

    Blakeney's Facebook page says she was from Upper Marlboro, attended Bowie State University and celebrated her birthday just days before she was killed. She worked as a makeup artist, the profile says.

    Another transgender woman, Zella Ziona, 21, was shot and killed in Montgomery County in Oct. 2015. A man police said had been her friend, Rico Hector Leblond, was charged with first-degree murder.

    At the time, prosecutors said they could not recall another deadly attack on a transgender person in the county.

    Transgender people face an increased rate of violence, and more transgender people were killed in 2015 -- 21 people -- than in any other year on record, according to the Human Rights Campaign, an advocacy organization.

    Anyone with information on Blakeney's murder is asked to call police at 240-773-5070 or, to remain anonymous, 1-866-411-TIPS. A reward of as much as $10,000 is offered.