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UPDATE: Trans Woman Killed in North Houston Has Been Identified

Za’niyah Williams, 21, was a hit-and-run victim.

Za’niyah Williams (photo via TransGriot)

UPDATE, January 7:

A transgender woman who was killed in North Houston last month has been identified, according to a local news report.

TransGriot, an online Houston-based Black trans publication, identified the hit-and-run victim as 21-year-old Za’niyah Williams on January 6. When TransGriot put out an initial community request to help identify Williams, she was originally believed to be in her mid-40s.  

“Originally, the details we got from the Medical Examiner’s Office was that she was mid-40s, which was off by 20 years,” TransGriot reports. “Za’niyah was 21 years old. Note that the age is often off when the Medical Examiner’s office takes a guess on ages based on various things, which makes it hard to pick the age of the deceased. 

“Luckily, our media coverage was viewed by the right people,” the publication added, “and if they’re reading this, on behalf of TransGriot and the trans community we say thank you to those who came forth, as the importance of being honored and remembered for who you were and lived as following a murder is so important for this community.”

The person who hit Williams with their car has not yet been identified. Those who have information should contact the Harris County Sheriff’s Office at 713-221-6000 and refer to case number 2112-07879. 


A transgender woman was killed in North Houston last week, according to an online news report. 

The woman, who has still not been identified, fell victim to a hit-and-run driver in the Oak Creek Village area near FM 1960 Road and T.C. Jester Boulevard. According to TransGriot, the publication that broke the story, the woman was pronounced dead when Harris County sheriffs found her at around 2:20 a.m on December 20. 

A woman believed to be the mother of the victim has been notified, TransGriot reports. The publication plans to update its reporting once the woman has been identified. 

While no images of the victim have been provided by the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, TransGriot provided a description of the woman for those who might have details to share with law-enforcement officials. She was Black, believed to be in her 40s, stood 5 feet 9 inches tall, and weighed 176 pounds. She had long brown braids and was found wearing a leopard-print hair cover, a blue sports bra, a pink bra, and dark blue sweatpants. She also had a tattoo on the left side of her chest, which appears to read Christian Reaiah or Cristian Reaiak in cursive, followed by a heartbeat graphic.

The leaders of TransGriot, a Black trans publication inspired by the work of pioneering transgender journalist and activist Monica Roberts, say they will put anyone with information on the hit-and-run victim in touch with the correct parties to get her identified. To reach out, call 713-800-6000 or email [email protected]

Those who wish to contact the Sherriff’s office directly can call 713-221-6000 and refer to case number 2112-07879. 


Lourdes Zavaleta

Lourdes Zavaleta is the managing editor of OutSmart magazine.
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