Saturday, October 06, 2012

Trans Sister Killed In Vancouver

It's Thanksgiving weekend north of the border, but our Canadian sisters in the Metro Vancouver area will have heavy hearts as they sit down to have their dinners on Monday.

According to 26 year old January Marie Lapuz died after being found in her New Westminster, BC  home with stab wounds on September 29. 

Lapuz hailed from Santiago, Isabela, in the Philippines, spoke three languages (English, Tagalog, and Chinese), volunteered as a social coordinator, fundraiser and performer with Sher Vancouver, a group for LGBT South Asians but open to all ethnicities.

The RCMP Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) says the New Westminster Police Department received a call just after 10 PM PDT to assist paramedics with a stabbing victim in the 500 block of 3rd Ave. 

Lapuz was taken to a nearby hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 5:44 AM PDT.

The Metro Vancouver community is mourning January's loss. 

"She was like the mother of the group," Alex Sangha of Sher Vancouver said. "She had so much going against her, and she got through it with her strength. She was very spiritual, very generous, very kind. And she got through her challenges because she believed in God, and she had the support of the group, and her friends, and the people around her."

The investigation into Lapuz's death is still in the early stages.  Police are searching for an Asian male seen fleeing the scene.  He is described as being in his mid-20s, approximately five foot five, with short black hair and a muscular build. He was wearing a black muscle shirt and grey shorts.

“The investigation remains active and ongoing as we continue to look for a motive and a suspect in this case. We also need the public’s assistance as the search continues for a male who witnesses spotted running from the scene Saturday night,” says RCMP Sergeant Jennifer Pound.

"To say something such as a hate crime would be speculation at this point," Pound says.

Here's hoping the perpetrator of this crime is expeditiously captured and brought to justice.   For the people whose lives were touched in one way or another by January Marie Lapuz's presence in it in the Metro Vancouver area, it will be one of the things they think about as they go about their holiday weekend mourning her loss.

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