Vigil Held For Transgender Activist Found Dead Behind Anaheim Dairy Queen
ANAHEIM (CBSLA.com) — Loved ones gathered for a vigil Friday night to honor a transgender activist found dead behind a Dairy Queen in Anaheim.
Zoraida Reyes, 28, of Santa Ana was found in a parking lot near the 200 block of North State College Boulevard, according to Bob Dunn of the Anaheim Police Department.
DMV listed the victim’s legal name as Cesar Reyes.
Dunn says there were no visible wounds on Reyes but they listed her death as “suspicious” because of evidence at the scene which suggested her body had been moved.
Friday evening, officials said results of her autopsy were “inconclusive.”
Reyes attended Century High School, Santa Ana College and UC Santa Barbara, and was active in the transgender community. She was a member of several groups in Orange County which fought for civil rights, as well as rights for undocumented residents.
Meanwhile, a group walked a half-mile through downtown Santa Ana to Sasscer Park, and held a vigil.
“She had many, many hats in this community. She was an activist for the Dreamer movement, for undocumented students, she was also an activist for the transgender community, along with the gay community,” friend Javier Saucedo said. “She was an activist, she was a friend, she was a daughter, she was a sister, she was someone you could count on.”
KCAL9’s Brittney Hopper said the vigil — attended by dozens of close friends and family — was emotional.
“We know the fact she was transgender, had something to do with [her death],” said best friend Jose Gutierrez. He believes she was targeted because she was transgender and an activist.
Reyes fought hard for transgender and immigration rights, friends said.
Friends were raising funds on GoFundMe.com to help Reyes’ family pay for her funeral.
Luis Ramirez writes on the fundraising site, “Those of you who knew Zoraida know that she was a loving girl, one that was always calm, a bit shy and wore a smile in her face when surrounded by loved ones. She was always sweet and willing to help in any way that she could. Zoraida always gave back to her community by advocating for Trans-Rights as well as the rights of the rest of the LGBTQ community.”
Donations on the site had exceeded the listed $7,000 goal by the day’s end.