Law enforcement officials in South Carolina say they now have “a very strong suspect” in the Easter weekend murder of a transgender woman in rural Chesterfield County as the FBI steps up to assist in the investigation, according to a report from The State.

Sasha Wall, 29, was found dead in the morning of April 1. She was in her car on a rural Chesterfield road, and had suffered from multiple gun shot woulds to her neck and shoulder.

DNA evidence was collected from the scene, state law enforcement official said, though processing the results will take some time. They’ve also spoken to Wall’s family, who have assisted in providing names of possible suspects.

Though the FBI is assisting, it remains unclear if the murder was a hate crime and if federal hate crimes charges will be filed.

“There’s no indication yet that this was a hate crime,” said Chesterfield County Sheriff Jay Brooks. “Everything’s pointing to (the indication) it was a breakup-like argument.”

Wall’s murder was the eighth homicide of a transgender person in 2018.

On Sunday, friends of Wall and other community members gathered on the steps of the South Carolina Capitol for a vigil and remembrance service.

“Sasha became a victim of yet another trans homicide,” organizer Nathaniel Naomi Simmons-Thorne said, according to The State. “I’m here today to say that Sasha’s life mattered … and that all black trans lives matter, every single one.”

Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.