TDoR 2024 / 2023 / October / 02 / Skylar Harrison Reeves

Skylar Harrison Reeves

Age 30

2 Oct 2023
Washington, D.C. (USA)

Skylar Harrison Reeves
Skylar Harrison Reeves [photo:]

Skylar was found dead and partially naked on a park bench.

D.C. police are investigating the unexplained death of a 30-year-old transgender woman, Skylar Harrison Reeves, whose partially naked body was found on a park bench in a secluded section of Marvin Gaye Park on Oct. 2.

A Metropolitan Police Department spokesperson told the Washington Blade detectives from the department’s natural death squad are investigating the case as detectives await a determination by the D.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of the cause and manner of death, which could take up to 60 days or more.

But [name redacted], Skylar’s aunt, told the Blade that a homicide detective came to her house in Capitol Heights, Md., where Skylar was living, to inform her that her niece was found deceased in a D.C. park with her belongings missing and the dress she was wearing pulled up over her head, with her breasts exposed.

[Her aunt] said the detective, whose last name she recalls is McWilliams, came to her home on Monday, Oct. 2, shortly after he said her niece’s body was found in a secluded section of Marvin Gaye Park.

The park, which a Blade reporter visited on Oct. 16, consists of a long, narrow wooded area with a creek running in the middle with trees and bushes, park benches, a nature trail, and fitness equipment located throughout the park.

According to [her aunt], Det. McWilliams said police think Skylar may have died from a drug overdose, but he didn’t say how police came to that possible conclusion. Hailes said the detective’s graphic description of what he saw after park employees initially found the body and called police leads her to believe her niece did not die from a drug overdose, even though she may have occasionally used drugs.

“Her dress was up over her head off her body, her hand was over her genitals, her breasts were exposed,” [she] said the detective told her. “I have a history with drugs myself,’ [she] said. “I’m not bragging about it, but I’ve ODed myself,” she told the Blade, adding that the circumstances surrounding the body of her niece made it unlikely if not impossible that the cause of death was a drug overdose.

“How was she outside partially naked?” [she said]. “How was she there with her dress over her head and her tits exposed and her hand over her genital area? That does not happen when you OD,” she said, adding that someone experiencing an overdose loses consciousness and could not take off their clothes.

“And the way my niece was found, it was a hate crime,” [she] said, pointing to additional details she said the police detective told her. “Her purse, her phone, her credit cards, all of that stuff was gone.”

And, according to [her], the detective also told her investigators could not find any footprints from the tennis shoes Skylar was wearing on the muddy ground along the path leading to where she was found.

As if that were not enough, [she] said Skylar, who was gainfully employed at the time of her death, never hung out at Marvin Gaye Park, which has a reputation of being a place where transgender sex workers sometimes congregate. She said she went to the park a short time after her niece’s death and showed photos of Skylar to the people who were hanging out in the park. None of them said they recognized Skylar as among those who hang out at Marvin Gaye Park.

In January 2024 the D.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner announced that Skylar died from an overdose.

Report added: 18 Oct 2023. Last updated: 1 Mar 2024

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