Kyra Cordova ("Kyra Kruz")Age 27
3 Sep 2012
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (USA)
TDoR list ref: tgeu/3-Sep-2012/Kyra Kruz
Kyra was shot in the head from behind, possibly without any warning. She was a counsellor at the Gay and Lesbian Latino AIDS Education Initiative.
The transgender woman found murdered earlier this month in Frankford has been identified as a former staff member at a local LGBT agency.
Police found the body of Kyra Cordova Sept. 3 in a wooded area off of Adams Avenue. Cordova, 27, who went by the name Kyra Kruz on social media, is a former volunteer and employee of the Gay and Lesbian Latino AIDS Education Initiative.
Cordova’s body was found shortly after 5 a.m. on Labor Day with a gunshot wound to the head. Investigators say Cordova was last seen at a nearby Wawa, where she purchased two sandwiches and two drinks.
According to her Facebook profile, Cordova graduated from North Penn Senior High School in Lansdale in 2003. Her MySpace page says she was in college studying biology, with aspirations of opening her own transgender medical facility.
Elicia Gonzales, executive director of GALAEI, said Cordova began volunteering with the agency in 2010 and was hired as an HIV tester within a few months. “She came in one day out of the blue just full of energy and life, saying she wanted to volunteer,” Gonzales said. “As soon as a position became open, she was first in line to apply.”
While Cordova was technically a part-time employee, she often put in full-time hours. On her first day on the job as a volunteer, she, without being asked, put together a PowerPoint presentation about GALAEI’s services for display in the agency’s lobby.
Last summer, Cordova coordinated and performed in GALAEI’s carnival-themed Pride parade contingent.
“The impact she made on not just our staff but on the whole community GALAEI serves was immeasurable,” Gonzales said. “Her energy and enthusiasm carried over into everything, in her work as a counselor and just as part of the GALAEI family.”
Gloria Casarez, the city’s director of LGBT affairs, called Cordova a “vibrant, visible face in the community.”
“She was a young person engaged in work that is about all of our lives,” Casarez said. “She was visible, she liked to have fun and even people who didn’t know her are going to relate to her.”
TvT project: Inquirer, 12.09.2012; Montgomery News, 04.10.2012