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Torched body of trans woman found behind garbage bin

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A torched body with a gunshot wound was found on a private road behind a Budget rental facility located at 2807 Fowler Street in Fort Myers, Florida. Warehouse workers found the charred remains on Thursday morning. Family members have identified the body as 31-year-old Yaz’min Shancez, although initial police reports referred to the victim by her birth name.

Police have opened a homicide investigation and are looking at surveillance cameras surrounding the crime scene. They have not determined a cause of death and are not currently investigating the homicide as a hate crime.

Approximately 150 people gathered for a vigil, Sunday, at Centennial Park to celebrate and mourn the victim. Diverse community members waving rainbow flags and carrying signs attended the tear-filled event.

The Center of SWFL released the following statement on their facebook page:

“The Center of SWFL condemns this act of hate committed on one of our LGBT citizens. Our community reaction will not be one of hate, judgment and evil. We will rise together with the strength of love and as it has so many times before, LOVE WILL WIN. As Maya Angelou said when she received her award for advocacy from PFLAG- "This little light of mine, I'm going to let it shine." Let your light shine to chase away the darkness that has befallen on this city and let this world know that we will not tolerate violence against our brothers and sisters.”

A Yaz’min Shancez fundraiser page has been created by the Center of SWFL and people can donate here.

Since this is still an ongoing investigation, anyone with information is asked to call the Fort Myers Police Department at 239-321-7700, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS or text message C-R-I-M-E-S (274637) Keyword FMPD.

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