Family members think she may have been targeted for being trans; she had often been harassed about her identity, Milwaukee TV station WISN reports.
Family and friends who gathered for a vigil Thursday night said police told them a suspect was in custody, but police would not confirm this to the station.
Her loved ones remembered her fondly. “She wasn’t apologetic about nothing,” April Gipson, her aunt, said at the vigil, according to WISN. “This was who she was. And we accepted her, with all our hearts.”
Of whoever killed Long, Gipson said, “They left my baby there like trash.”
“As a father, I wish I would have asked more questions,” added her father, Jonathan Long. “I should have been close. Even though I know [she] knows I accepted [her] lifestyle, I feel like I could have done more.”
The family has set up a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for funeral expenses. The service is scheduled for next Thursday at Serenity Funeral Home in Milwaukee.
At least 20 trans people are known to have died by violence in the U.S. this year, most of them women of color. The true count in any given year is likely higher, as some are misgendered or deadnamed by police and media, or their deaths not reported at all.
Anyone with information about Long’s killing is asked to call the Milwaukee police at (414) 935-7360. Tips can be reported anonymously to Crime Stoppers at (414) 224-TIPS.