Death of trans woman found dumped in canal months ago finally being investigated as homicide

Side-by-side photographs of Aidelen Evans, smiling at the camera

Police are finally investigating the death of Aidelen Evans, a 24-year-old Black trans woman, as a homicide after she was found dead in March.

Evans, described by family as a fun-loving woman, was found dead in a canal running adjacent to Motiva, the nation’s largest oil refinery, in the coastal industrial city of Port Arthur by police on 18 March.

Evidence has since surfaced that Evans may have been killed in Beaumont and her body dumped in Port Arthur.

Beaumont police have now taken over the case from Port Arthur, who initially listed Evans’ death as suspicious, and said that detectives are investigating her passing as a possible homicide.

The force did not provide any details on how she was killed, 12News reported.

Family members have been left frustrated by the police investigation, one they have described as sluggish with countless questions remaining.

They pushed the police to launch a second autopsy report after the first was inconclusive, their anger compounded by press reports that constantly misgendered and deadnamed Evans.

“This is heartbreaking, I don’t care what nobody has to say,” Evans’ grandmother Lois Balka told 12News in March.

“Nobody should have this. Nobody — no parent should have to go through this.

“It’s hard you go to sleep at night,” she added, “and you think about: ‘Lord please give us an answer, please give us an answer’.”

Evans has been described by the local press as a transient, meaning she often stayed and worked in places for a short amount of time.

She had ties to Houston, police added, and often frequented area of College Street and 4th Street in Port Arthur.

Anyone with information that may aid in the investigation is asked to call Beaumont police at (409) 832-1234 or submit an anonymous tip to Southeast Texas Crime Stoppers at (409) 833-TIPS (8477).

Death of Aidelen Evans is ‘heartbreaking and infuriating’

Evans’ name joins an ever-increasing list of trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming Americans to die by violence in the US this year alone in what the American Medical Association has dubbed an “epidemic of violence.”

At least 30 trans people have been killed in 2021, Human Rights Campaign says.

By HRC’s estimates around three-quarters of all known victims are misgendered by media and/or by law enforcement.

“The loss of another Black transgender woman is heartbreaking and infuriating,” said Tori Cooper, the HRC’s lead on trans justice, in a media release.

“Aidelen did not deserve to have her life taken from her — none of the transgender and non-binary people who have been killed deserved to have their lives cut short.

“The violence that continues to impact transgender and gender non-conforming people, especially Black transgender women, must stop. We need everyone to speak out against stigma and in support of trans lives.”

Already mourned this year by the trans community are Tyianna AlexandraSamuel Edmund Damián ValentínBianca BankzDominique JacksonFifty BandzAlexus BraxtonChyna CarrilloJeffrey ‘JJ’ Bright, Jasmine Cannady, Jenna Franks, Diamond ‘Kyree’ SandersRayanna PardoDominique LuciousJaida PetersonRemy FennellTiara BanksNatalia Smüt, Iris SantosTiffany ThomasJahaira DeAlto BalenciagaKeri WashingtonSophie Vásquez, Danny HensonWhispering Bear Spirit, Serenity HollisOliver ‘Ollie’ TaylorThomas Hardin, Poe Black and Novaa Watson.