Josie Berrios, 28, (also known as Kendra Adams and Kimbella Rosé) was killed on June 13 in Ithaca, N.Y. Her body was found early in the morning in a burning building.
Michael Davis, 45, was arrested within 24 hours of the murder and charged with murder and arson. He’s being held without bail.
The investigation remains open and on their Facebook page, Ithaca police wrote they would like to speak to anyone who was in the area early the morning of the murder.
Berrios was a founder of drag performance group The House of Merlot, which issued the following statement:
“Kimbella, also known as Kendra Adams or Josie to some was one of our founding members of the House of Merlot before we were even official. She was usually full of energy, rarely on time, and always slayed her performances. A proud trans woman of color, she always tried her best to make new performers feel comfortable in our spaces. She recognised the realness in all of us without question and made us feel beautiful. She was part of so many families here in Ithaca, that many are feeling stunned and lost following this news. Her presence is still felt, and will never be forgotten.”
A candlelight celebration of her life was held on June 18 in downtown Ithaca and a private funeral service was held for family.