Content warning: This article mentions violence against trans people and the epidemic of femicides and missing women in Puerto Rico.
Michellyn Ramos Vargas is the sixth trans person killed in Puerto Rico this year. The 35-year-old woman’s body was found early morning yesterday, Sept. 30, off the side of a highway outside the gate of a farm in San Germán. She’d been shot multiple times, including in the head.
Ramos Vargas was identified at the scene by members of her family, who told police she’d been working through nursing school at a factory in Sabana Grande. She’d recently moved to Mayagüez.
Police are now investigating a possible connection to a man she may have met within a Cabo Rojo hotel, as well as the possibility that she was taken by force from her apartment in Mayagüez overnight. Some reports state Ramos Vargas was originally from Lajas, about 30 minutes south by car. Others have also reported her age as 32, rather than 35.
News of Ramos Vargas’ murder came only days after news that Rosimar Rodríguez, a 20-year-old missing woman had been found dead. Witnesses saw her forced into a white automobile Suzuki the night of Thursday, Sept.17. On Sunday night, she was found dead in nearby Dorado.
A major protest was held on Monday, September 28, in Old San Juan. Activists called for the declaration of a state of emergency in response to the apparent spike in missing women and girls and femicides. Seeking justice in all cases, now the people and groups involved have added Ramos Vargas to the list of unresolved tragedies.