Funeral held for transgender murder victim

A Coastal Bend family is mourning Wednesday night after their loved one was murdered in rural Nueces County near Robstown.

CORPUS CHRISTI (KIII NEWS) - A Coastal Bend family is mourning Wednesday night after their loved one was murdered in rural Nueces County near Robstown. 
 
Funeral services were held for 47-year-old Stephanie Elizabeth Montez at Our Lady of Perpetual Help on October 21, Montez' body was found at a residence near FM-61 and FM-28.
 
The Nueces County Medical examiners office say the 47-year-old was born Juan Montes, but the family says she lived her life as a transgender woman for quite some time.
 
The Nueces County Sheriff's office is still in the midst of their investigation and has not released much information, but the medical examiner's office did say Montez was shot in the chest and abdomen several times.
 
A family friend of Montez describes Montez as a caregiver that never asked for anything in return.
 
Homicide Survivors group founder Donna Watkins attended today's services and has been helping Montez' family through this difficult time. Watkins said they just want to know what happened to her and why, "no one deserves to be murdered no matter who they are and when people take a life like this..they should be held responsible accountable for what they have done."
 
Watkins said a trans rights rally would be held on Saturday outside of the Federal Court House in Corpus Christi at 2 pm. The rally was already scheduled to spread awareness about violence against the LGBTQ community, but Watkins says it's been more relevant after Montez' death.
 
Sheriff's Deputies are not releasing any details including if this case is being investigated as a hate crime or if there are any suspects.

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