Police search for killer of transgender woman

Posted at 10:27 AM, Sep 29, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-29 10:27:55-04

Amber Monroe, a 21-year-old transgender woman, struggled with her identity for a long time, and courageously came out two-years ago.

"Amber was a very fun and loving and generous person,” says her aunt Essie Jones. “She believed in giving to the community."

But, it wasn't easy.

“I know she had a lot of obstacles to face," says Jones.

And on one summer night, her family says they believe someone took her life because of it.

"I do believe in my heart she was murdered because of her choice," says Jones.

Lt Charles Clark with the Detroit Police Department's Homicide Unit says Amber was shot on August 8th around five in the morning on Woodward and Dakota near Palmer Park after getting out of the car seen in surveillance video.

After the car enters the intersection, Amber stops the vehicle and gets out. When she stepped out of the car and started walking, she was shot.

Amber's mother, in tears, remembers the heart-wrenching phone call she got shortly after.

“She said ‘Are you sleeping’ and I said ‘Yes’,” says Pamela Smith. “And she said ‘Umm, you don’t know, do you’ and ‘I said know what, please don’t tell me my baby dead’."

Loved ones say Amber, who was enrolled in college, was a member of several transjustice awareness groups and interned at the Ruth Ellis Center in Highland Park - an organization that focuses on young members of the LGBTQ community.

"I respect the courage she had to be true to herself," says Jones.

But make no mistake they want the killer caught and police say they can't do it without you.

Detroit police are asking for your help in finding Amber's killer, so they could get them off the streets and give her family some closure.

If you recognize the car in the surveillance video or have any information that could help, please call police. 

Remember, you can remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP.