Joshua Dominic Bourgeois was charged with the murder of Tracy Williams, the 16th trans woman to be killed in the U.S. this year.
The 22-year-old was found dead with a puncture wound and several lacerations in a Houston gas station parking lot on July 30. She was discovered around 3:30 a.m. Her death was ruled a homicide.
With the help of local queer activists, authorities were able to identify her body after two weeks. Her identity was released to the public on August 15.
Bourgeois was under investigation when authorities learned he was dating Williams, also known as Tracy Single. He was arrested without incident on Friday, August 24. The 25-year-old is being held at the Harris County jail without bond. Police are currently unaware of a possible motive.
Williams’ friends described her as a spontaneous fashionista who enjoyed drag and performing with her “larger-than-life” personality. She also taught dance lessons, often mentoring her peers who also experienced homeslessness.
Originally from New Orleans, Williams, the oldest of six siblings, moved to Houston where she resided at the Montrose Grace Place, an organization that houses “homeless youth of all sexual orientations and gender identities.”
Courtney Sellers, executive director of Montrose Grace Place, described her passing as a “big loss for the community.”
According to the Human Rights Campaign, 16 transgender people, including Williams, have been killed since the beginning of this year. According to the group’s trackings, 26 transgender people died from violence last year. Of those victims, all but one were black women.
Williams marks the third trans woman to be murdered this year in Texas.