Arrest, charge made in murder of Londonn Moore

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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North Port, Fla. |The North Port Police Department (NPPD) announced Dec. 19 that Juan Salazar-Diaz had been arrested and charged with the murder of Londonn Moore, the fifth reported transgender woman of color murdered in Florida this year.

Moore was found shot to death Sept. 8, miles from her hometown of Port Charlotte in Sarasota County’s North Port. Her vehicle was discovered in Punta Gorda two days later.

According to NPPD’s release, Punta Gorda resident Salazar-Diaz was charged with second-degree murder, grand theft auto and possession of a firearm by a felon. They advise the arrest was a result of diligent investigative work and DNA evidence.

“Detectives were able to verify the last number called by the victim was to Salazar,” the release notes. It further cites that Salazar “lives less than a quarter mile” from where Moore’s car was found and that DNA evidence implicating Salazar was discovered on multiple items.

“I’m very proud and thankful for everyone who has contributed to this case,” NPPD Chief Todd Garrison said in a statement. “They’ve all spent long hours making this investigation a top priority. We’ve worked hard and will continue to insure justice is served for our victim and their family.”

“While an arrest in this tragedy will certainly bring some much needed closure for the family, I also hope it will bring some peace of mind to the local LGBTQ community, particularly the local trans community,” ALSO Youth Executive Director Nathan Bruemmer tells Watermark. “Our youth and their families would appreciate an open dialogue to better understand what policies and practices are in place and what sort of training NPPD, and our other local agencies, have received in working with the transgender community.”

NPPD advises that they have “taken steps to ensure rights for transgender individuals through policy,” a part of which “states that if someone identifies as a man or woman, we will respect their wishes.” In the same release, Moore is misgendered and NPPD utilizes her “dead name,” a name given to a transgender individual at birth which may not align with their gender identity.

“All the information we have is that our victim did not identify as a transgender woman,” the release notes. “With that said, we have included the name [Londonn Moore] in our outreach efforts … We certainly respect the LGBTQ+ community.”

“It continues to be disappointing to the transgender community across the country,” Equality Florida Director of Transgender Equality Gina Duncan says, “and specifically in Florida, that law enforcement continues to violate their own policies issued by the Department of Justice in referenceto properly identifying transgender victims.While we appreciate NPPD’s efforts in both addressing the anti-transgender violence as well as working with the media,they still have a ways to go in reference to getting it right.”

Of the five trans women of color murdered in Florida this year, Moore’s case is the only one to date to have a suspect arrested.

NPPD notes that while they have been thorough and patient to ensure justice is served, “it is possible that others may have been involved or know more about this case.”

Anyone with additional information is encouraged to contact Detective Chris Maki at 941-429-7323 or cmaki@northportpd.com.

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