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Neighborhood Safety Issues Raised After Transgender Murder

The recent murder of a transgender woman in Montrose has prompted a local neighborhood association to host a security forum. According to an announcement from First Montrose Commons, the death of Myra Ical “has greatly affected our community and has raised serious safety concerns aboutour neighborhood.”

Myra’s body was discovered on January 18 in an empty field in the 4300 block of Garrott, just a few blocks from Montrose Counseling Center.

A coalition of local interests, including Montrose Counseling Center, will come together to address safety issues and share ideas about reducing crime in the neighborhood.

First Montrose Commons reports it “cannot allow this situation to continue,” and is organizing a security forum to be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, February 16 at the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, 4001 Stanford, in the school’s Black Box Theatre.

Activists held a public memorial on Monday, January 25 to draw attention to the crime, along with how the police and local media initially responded to Myra’s murder. Many were upset that she was referred to as a man and that the stories implied she may have been involved in sex or drug trade. Additional photos of the candlelight vigil may be found at Montrose Counseling Center’s Facebook page.

Houston Police say there is no evidence that Myra’s murder was a hate crime, however it has not been ruled out. Authorities are asking for the public to come forward if they have any information that may lead to the arrest and conviction of Myra’s murder.

MCC Anti-Violence Specialist Allison Vogt, LBSW, says that some people may be afraid to come forward with important information because they don’t think they will be treated with dignity and respect, especially if they are undocumented or were engaged in illegal activity at the time. Anyone with information is being asked to call Crime Stoppers of Houston at 713.222.8477. Callers may be anonymous.

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