Police appeal for help after trans woman murdered in London

PinkNews logo surrounded by illustrated images including a rainbow, unicorn, PN sign and pride flag.

Police have appealed for help after a 33-year-old trans woman was murdered in London.

The victim, the Miami-born Vanessa Santillan, was found dead by police in a Fulham flat on March 28, at 9:30 PM.

The woman was found in Romily Court, off Landridge Road, was pronounced dead at the scene – with a post-mortem showing that trauma to the head and neck was the cause of the death.

A 23-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the death, and has been bailed until next month.

Detective Chief Inspector Rebecca Reeves of the Metropolitan Police said: “We want to speak to anyone who saw Vanessa on Friday or Saturday [March 27 and 28].

“We need to know why this has happened and we want help from anyone who knew her while she was in London.”

Initial press coverage did not mention that Ms Santillan was transgender, but the information has since been picked up by some outlets.

The Standard noted that Ms Santillan had been working as an escort. Her website confirms her gender identity and states: “I am looking to meet upscale, respectable gentlemen, of a certain calibre, who know how to treat a lady like me.

“I do not appreciate being asked impolite, personal questions over the telephone in particular. In return for your graciousness you can expect the best in return.”

DCI Reeves told the newspaper: “Vanessa’s parents are devastated by the loss of their daughter. She was living many miles from home, but she was regularly in touch with her family, and she last spoke to them on Friday 27 March.

“Later that evening, she met up with a small group of friends and went out to the West End, returning home in the early hours of Saturday.

“I need to hear from anyone who saw Vanessa on Saturday 28 March and anyone who met her while she was in London.

“We need to know why this has happened and we want help from anyone who knew her while she was in London.”

If you know anything about the incident, contact the police on 101 or ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.