A Year Without Justice: Mesha Caldwell


A year later, the murder of a trans woman in Canton, Mississippi remains unsolved

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One year ago today, Mesha Caldwell was found murdered not far from the intersection pictured above in Canton, Mississippi. In one direction, there is a dirt road with no outlet; in another, cotton fields. Some initial reports said Mesha was found in the road, some said beside it, and many misgendered her, further compounding the pain caused by her death. Mesha was the first trans woman killed in 2017, a year that would ultimately see 28 transgender people killed nationwide, most of them women of color. It has been the deadliest year on record for trans people.
Mesha’s homicide currently remains unsolved. For her friends, family, and community, this has been a year without justice.
“We’re hurt because we feel like there’s no one trying to reach out and help us, like there’s no one there to care,” said Ronnie Hudson, a good friend who grew up with Mesha and thinks of her as family. “Me, personally, I just hope to find her killer. That’s what’s really hurting us, because we don’t know who did this horrible thing to her.”
The Madison County Sheriff’s Office in Canton has been handling Mesha’s case since her murder on January 4 of last year. Her cause of death was reported by the Clarion Ledger as multiple gunshot wounds.
When reached by phone for comment on November 8, Madison County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Sandra Buckley said Mesha’s case was still under investigation and that there were no updates. She referred further questions to the FBI. When asked if the FBI’s involvement meant that Mesha’s death was being investigated as a hate crime, Buckley said she did not know. In a texted statement on January 1, Buckley wrote: “As of now

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