October 11 marks two years since Stacey Blahnik Lee's boyfriend Malik Moorer found her lifeless body in the South Philadelphia home they shared. While there was a person of interest in this case, the ongoing investigation has yet to lead to enough solid evidence to get an arrest.
Philadelphia Police Department Homicide Capt. James Clarke said in a Philadelphia Gay News interview last year that there was DNA evidence that placed the person of interest at the house, but it was not enough to warrant an arrest.
But that's of little comfort to the people who loved her, the members of the House of Blahnik and the Philadelphia LGBT community. The recent death of Kyra Kruz Cordova has only heightened the sense of frustration and nervousness people feel in the community about the lack of resolution of the Lee murder.
Damon Humes, founder of House of Blahnik, said to PGN Blahnik’s survivors worry that the case could fall to the wayside because of the identity of the victim.
“We feel like had it not been a trans person, there would have been more attention to finding and capturing the person who did this to her,” Humes said. “It reminds us all how alive and kicking transphobia really is, as well as heterosexism and all the other ‘isms’ we fight against every day.”
Gloria Casarez, director of the city’s LGBT affairs, said the most alarming aspect of the unsolved murder is that the person responsible remains free.
“The biggest frustration is that there is still a killer on the loose,” she said, noting that the recent murder of transwoman Kyra Cordova reiterated that idea for many in the community. “Kyra’s case brought this all back for a lot of people. It was a reminder, and it wasn’t a pleasant reminder, that there are murderers out there and there are unsolved murders in our community. These cases need timely eyewitness participation, and I think when you don’t have that, you’re going to have a harder time.”
Police spokesperson Lt. Ray Evers told PGN that investigators “don’t have much new.”
“They have some folks at the house but that’s still where they’re at,” Evers said.
As Ms. Casarez and the PPD investigators have noted, in order for this case to get solved witnesses will need to come forward and provide information. Bear in mind that information you provide may be the final piece in the puzzle that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person who committed the crime.