Trans activist Elise Malary found dead in Illinois park after being reported missing

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Elise Malary was found Thursday afternoon when authorities were alerted of “a woman in the water by the rocks” in Evanston’s Garden Park, and on Saturday she was “positively identified.”

Elise Malary was reported missing on March 11.Friends and family of Malary, 31, initially became concerned March 9 when they couldn’t reach her and reported her missing two days later, An advocate for transgender people of color and the LGBTQ community, Malary served as a board member with the nonprofit Chicago Therapy Collective, where she has “profound influence,” Martinez reportedly said.

“She’d speak out on behalf of any issue that impacted women of color, LGBTQ folk — her heart’s so big,” said Iggy Ladden of Chicago Therapy Collective before police announced she had died, according to the Chicago Sun Times.WLS-TV Chicago Two days before she was reported missing, Malary had left her job working for Attorney General Kwame Raoul, who released a statement Saturday.

“Elise was a valued member of our Civil Rights Bureau who, as a tireless advocate for the LGBTQ community, was passionate about her work,” he said, according to reports. “Her kindness and infectious smile will be missed by those who worked with her. The Attorney General’s office has lost a member of our family, and as an office, we are heartbroken.” she was a “fierce advocate” for transgender people.

The loss of Elise Malary is heartbreaking. My heart goes out to all her loved ones, as well as all of Illinois’ transgender community. You deserve to feel safe in your home, and I will continue to do everything in my power to make Illinois welcoming and inclusive for everyone.

 

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