Officials: Transgender Woman Found Dead in Malibu Area May Have Overdosed

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MALIBU (CNS) - A transgender woman found dead at the side of a roadway in the Malibu area may have overdosed, authorities said Tuesday.

The body was found about 7 a.m. Thursday in the 33000 block of Mulholland Highway, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Family members identified the person as 27-year-old Day Rodas, whose name has not been released by authorities.

"An autopsy of the decedent was conducted on Friday, December 2, 2022, by the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner Office," the sheriff's department said in a statement on Tuesday afternoon.

"The Medical Examiner-Coroner Office did not find any obvious signs of trauma and preliminary findings indicated there were narcotics in the decedent's body," the sheriff's department reported. "At this time, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Homicide Investigators are treating this incident as a possible narcotics overdose. This investigation is ongoing and there is no further information available to release at this time."

In a GoFundMe page created by Rodas' sister, she was described as ``the most forgiving person who strongly advocated for LGBTQ rights."

Rodas was an employee at the Los Angeles LGBT Center.

``She recently started living her life authentically as she came out to friends and family about being a trans woman. She was the most forgiving person who strongly advocated for LGBTQ rights. She had so much love for family and friends and she saw the good in everyone ... after being afraid for 27 years, she only got to live freely without fear for only six months which breaks our hearts," her younger sister wrote.

Joe Hollendoner, CEO of the Los Angeles LGBT Center, said in a statement that Rodas was a ``vital member of the center, working within our Community Health Program, and she worked devotedly during her tenure to keep LGBTQ+ people educated, informed, and safe. We are so proud of the work that Day did for the center and our community."

``To have her life cut short in this moment -- and under such troubling circumstances -- makes her loss all the more heartbreaking. We cannot honor the life of Day Rodas without naming that violence against transgender people -- particularly transgender women of color -- is at an all-time high," Hollendoner said.

Anyone with information on the case was urged to call the Sheriff's Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500, or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS.

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