Mother Seeks Answers in Transgender Daughter's Death

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The mother of a transgender woman found shot to death inside a boarded up apartment building in D.C. last year says she does not understand why there are still no answers as to how her daughter died.

Mia Penny’s mother says she’s learned an important detail given by police in the mysterious case may not be true. 

“It’s important to me to know what happened, because I loved my son-slash-daughter,” Tasha Penny said.

Tasha Penny sometimes refers to Mia Penny as her son but says she recognized and loved her as a transgender woman.

On Dec. 30, security guards at an apartment complex in the 4200 block of Barnaby Road SE reported to police a deceased person with an apparent gunshot wound inside a building boarded up for renovations.

She was identified as 26-year-old Mia Penny.

D.C. said security guards were involved in an exchange of gunfire with an intruder inside the same building the previous day. They said police officers called to the scene that night used a search dog to verify the guard’s statements the intruder ran away.

Tasha Penny said she’s since been told the search did not happen. 

“That it was not true,” she said. “And the detective apologized to me and my family. He had tears in his eyes. He told us he was brutally murdered.” 

After Mia Penny’s body was found the next day, police released a photo of a gun they say was found next to her.

Her family said she had no inclination to own a gun and would likely not know how to use one.

A police spokesman said the case remains under investigation and the official cause and manner of death is still pending a ruling by the medical examiner.

“It hurts every day, because he was like a best friend, and he didn’t mind if I called him Mia or his other name,” Tasha Penny said. “He was very lovable.”

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