6 Sep 2016
Queens, New York (USA)
Sofia was homeless. She was found dead on a park bench in Phil Rizzuto Park in Richmond Hill, Queens, but the cause of her death is not known.
Police are trying to identify a [woman] dressed as a woman who was found dead inside a Queens park, officials said Tuesday.
Investigators have released a sketch of the victim in the hopes someone can identify [her].
The victim was found dead on a bench in Phil Rizzuto Park in Richmond Hill on Sept. 6.
A Parks Department worker first saw the victim at 5 a.m. but didn't realize [she] was dead. When he passed by again an hour and a half later he approached the victim and realized [she] wasn't alive.
The victim was dressed in women's clothing and had vomit coming from [her] nose. [She] was carrying no identification and is believed to be homeless, cops said.
[She] showed no signs of trauma, cops said. The results of an autopsy were not immediately released.
Sofia was not identified for some time after her body was found. A year later her family in Lakewood, New Jersey (with whom she was not in contact) learnt she was dead and published a fundraiser to cover her burial costs.
They unfortunately misgendered her throughout.
Please help us raise money for my little [sister] funeral costs who [she] passed] away 9/6/16. We were desperately trying to find [her] for a whole year because [she] went missing until they finally told us [she] is deceased. They found [her] in a park bench in Queens NY. They were waiting for a family to claim [her] but in December they had to bury [her]. Sadly we couldn’t believe it. [She] had type 2 diabetes since [she] was 10. He just wanted to be a normal teenager always going out to dance in parties, always wanting to fit in. [She] came out telling us [she] was [trans] so it was hard for us to understand [her] growing up but [she] was our little [sister] and we were just a family of 4. Family forever small but loving. Please donate what you can it would help us especially my mother who is taking it harder. R.I.P. [deadname] “Sofia” Gonzales.
Sofia's death was not recorded on the official TDoR 2016 memorial list released by Transgender Europe (TGEU) in November 2016. Her death only came to light as a result of a message from the cold cases researcher @KaylaraOwl.