BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Her name was Jasmine Sierra, and police found her dead in her apartment. Her friends said they had no idea she was killed until weeks later because her birth name was published in the media
For the last 30 years, Veronica Soto and the late Jasmine Sierra were good friends.
"I just cant believe how she passed away, it was horrible to hear what happened to her," Soto said.
Sierra was murdered in her apartment on Monterey Street in Bakersfield. Investigators said her body had obvious signs of trauma.
"That's a human being, and no one deserved to be hurt like that, to the point they were beaten and killed," Soto said.
Both Soto and Sierra are and were transgender.
"We live as a woman, as female. That's how we are. That's how we feel, mentally, emotionally, and that's how we identify ourselves," Soto said.
Soto said she is just starting to mourn the death of Sierra because she recently found out. The coroner identified the body as Robert Sierra, Jasmine's birth name, a man's name most of her close friends like Soto and Shantell Waldo never knew.
"I don't know who Robert is," Waldo said.
Bakersfield Police Department Sergeant Gary Carruesco said in the state of California the coroner identifies the body and gender as well. He said even if a person was born a male and identified as a female, the department might not release that information especially if it is an ongoing investigation.
Despite protocol, Waldo said she just wants justice and wished they could have given Sierra a proper goodbye.
"What a horrible way to die in that violence and that fear, and when it's over its just done," Waldo said.
There will be a memorial rally for Jasmine Sierra tomorrow from 4-6 p.m. at 1601 Truxtun Avenue.
BPD asks anyone with information on this case to call them at 327-7111.
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