Now at least 17 trans people have been murdered in the US this year

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Skye Mockabee is at least the 17th trans person murdered in the US so far this year.

Trans people are being killed at an alarming rate in the US, Skye Mockabee being the 17th so far this year and the third black trans woman to be killed in the month of July alone.

Mockabee, 26, was found unresponsive in a parking lot around 8 a.m. last Saturday in Cleveland, Ohio.

She had suffered an apparent head wound and was declared dead at the scene by EMS.

Police are currently providing few details about Mockabee’s death, which Sergeant Jennifer Ciaccia of the Cleveland Police Department said, “hasn’t been determined to be a homicide yet.”

No suspects have been arrested and no possible motives for her murder have been determined – though her family believes she was killed because of her gender identity.

More than half of anti-LGBT hate murders are trans woman of colour, and it’s believed that much more are killed than are reported in the media because many police departments and media outlets fail to identify victims as transgender – which was also the case in Mockabee’s death.

Initial reports from police, the medical examiner, and local media all misgendered Mockabee and referred to her by her dead name; it wasn’t released that she was trans until Monday.

However, as Cherno Biko, a trans activist, has pointed out, there is a possibility that the staggering number of killings could be due to better reporting of the crimes.

“I don’t know whether the violence is increasing or we’re just getting better at reporting it,” Biko said.

Either way, the overall rate of reported anti-trans hate crimes rose by 13% between 2013 and 2014, according to the most recent statistics from the FBI, and 2015 was the deadliest year for the trans community with at least 21 trans people known to be murdered.

Seeing that we still have 5 more months left in this year, and the rate of murder has no signs of slowing down, 2016 is set to be another record breaker.