On the early morning of July 13, 22-year-old Marilyn Cazares was found dead in an abandoned home in Brawley, California after police responded to a call about a nearby couch fire. It is believed that Marilyn was living in the building where she was found. The Desert Review reports that the cause of death has not been announced but police are investigating it as a homicide.
Police commander, Brett Houser stated, “This is just the early part of the investigative process so we're just investigating as a homicide right now. We haven't established motive or anything of that nature yet.”
Marilyn's family still uses "him/his" pronouns and refers to Marilyn, born as Nathan Daniel Cazares , as "son/brother." however, they do explain that she identified as a trans-woman. Aubrey Cazares, Cazares’s 19-year-old sister, stated that she and her family believe the death to be a hate crime. "... he was stabbed and he was burned and, you know, that’s so hateful to do to somebody....Me and my dad talked about it because we know my brother and we know he (was) a fighter, so we imagine (it was) something that he tried to fight his way out of but he couldn’t. But then also it could have been somebody who just didn’t like him — who he was as a person. What happened to my brother was very horrible, and tragic,” said Aubrey.
Marilyn's death comes during nearby San Diego's Pride Week. Marilyn is the twenty-third known transgender person murdered this year which nearly meets the total 27 known trans murders from 2019. The family has organized a march in honor of her life and also serving as a protest to end transphobia. The march will start in front of the building where her body was found and will end at the Brawley Police Department.
A GoFundMe campaign launched by Aubrey has already received more than its initial $10,000 goal, covering the funeral costs.“Nathan was beautiful, outstanding, sassy, goofy,” Aubrey said. “He always loved to dance and sing. He admired Marilyn Monroe and Nicki Minaj and Cardi B.” “He was just fabulous; always rocking crazy outfits, crazy wigs … he was just Nathan. That's always who he was, even when we were kids.”
Anyone with further information regarding Cazares’s death is asked to contact Detective Sergeant Jesse Rotner at 760-351-7777.