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Dallas police ask for FBI's help after second transgender woman killed within a month

Dallas police Chief Reneé Hall said the woman's body had "obvious signs of homicidal violence."

Updated at 9:30 p.m. with information from Lindsey's family. 

Dallas police have asked for help from the FBI investigating the slaying of a black transgender woman — the second in a month.

Chynal Lindsey's body was found Saturday in White Rock Lake. Her body had "obvious signs of homicidal violence," said Dallas police Chief Reneé Hall during a news conference Monday. 

An FBI spokeswoman said the bureau is "prepared to assist" if it becomes clear that there could be "a potential federal civil rights violation."

"We will continue to work with the Dallas Police Department as well as all our community partners to address any concerns," FBI officials said in a written statement.

Officers were called to the lake around 5:45 p.m. Saturday when a passerby found Lindsey's body, which was later pulled from the water by a game warden.

Hall said investigators need help to determine where the 26-year-old woman was last seen and who she may have been with before she was killed. 

Police also want to know where Lindsey frequently spent her time, Hall said.

Detectives are now focusing on possible connections following several crimes against the transgender community over the last several months.

RELATED: Dallas police investigate possible link to 2 slayings, stabbing of transgender women

Lindsey's death comes less than a week after the funeral for Muhlaysia Booker, another black transgender woman killed in May. 

Booker's body was found early May 18 lying face down in the middle of the street in far east Dallas, blocks from Ash and White Rock creeks.

RELATED: Body found in White Rock Lake Saturday

Booker was killed a month after a video of a group beating her went viral. Edward Thomas, 29, was arrested on an aggravated assault charge in connection with the beating. 

Police have said they are investigating whether there's a link between Booker's death, the death of Brittany White, and the attack of another black transgender woman who has not been publicly identified. 

Credit: WFAA
Brittany White

In October 2018, White was found shot to death in her car in the 7100 block of Gayglen Drive. A suspect has not been identified in that case, police said. 

In April 2019, a transgender woman was stabbed in the 2800 block of Troy Street. The woman, who survived, was able to provide police with a description of the suspect. The description has not been released to the public. 

White, Booker and the third woman were each with their attackers in a car before they were targeted. 

Credit: Dallas Police Department
Chynal Lindsey was found dead Saturday in White Rock Lake. Her death is being investigated as a homicide.

'We're in a crisis now'

Chief Hall wouldn't speculate if the department was dealing with a serial killer, saying, "right now we don't have evidence to substantiate that." 

But Carmarion D. Anderson said that there are enough similarities to cause alarm. 

Anderson is the founder of Black Transwomen, Inc, a non-profit in Dallas that promotes advocacy for black transgender women. 

"There's personal anxiety that shows up because that certainly could have been me," Anderson said. 

"We just got done burying Muhlaysia, and now I get phone calls this morning about what's happened. My heart is heavy, to say the least."

Anderson said that vigilance is the best message she can give to her community right now, and added that it's difficult to comprehend that no one has been arrested so far. 

"We're in a crisis right now, and the crisis is are we safe to walk the block to the park? To walk our animals? To go to the store? To get gas? It's very scary." 

While no one wants to live in fear, Anderson feels like there will be much of it until justice arrives. 

"That's why my heart is heavy, who is going to be next?" Anderson said. 

'I just can't see anyone hurting him'

Lindsey was formerly known as Jason Haslett. Her cousin, Tamaya Seaphus, told WFAA late Monday night that Lindsey was adopted and grew up near an area of Chicago. 

Seaphus said that Lindsey moved to Texas around six years ago to reconnect with her biological family. Seaphus said that she and Lindsey's grandmother both live in Arlington. 

Even though Lindsey identified as a woman, Seaphus said she always knew him as Jason. 

"It's devastating, of all the people in our biological family we were the closest," Seaphus said. 

"He's like a son. A son you lose, then you get reunited with, and then someone takes them away all over again and this time there's no coming back." 

Seaphus said that Lindsey lived with her for a time, but that she recently had been on her own.

She called Lindsey a peaceful and happy person. 

"This was a person that I had never seen mad," Seaphus said. "Not aggressive, not violent, he was a people pleaser." 

"I just can't see anyone hurting him." 

Seaphus told WFAA that Lindsey led a difficult life that would sometimes involve prostitution. She said she never judged, but is curious if the 26-year-old met someone before she was killed. 

Yet, Seaphus wonders if police will ever get to the bottom of Lindsey's death. 

"It's just been a very difficult day," Seaphus said.

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