Friends and family are mourning the loss of a transgender woman killed overnight on Holden Avenue in Orange County.
"She was a very outgoing person, very outspoken," said Mulan Montrese Williams, who knew the victim. "Somewhat of a firecracker."
Williams met Sasha Garden two years ago through mutual friends.
They got to know each other better while at Williams' trans empowerment group meetings.
Around 7 a.m. Thursday, Williams got an unexpected knock at the door.
Deputies were trying to identify a person killed just down the street.
"That's when they showed me a picture," Williams said. "The picture was very disturbing because, unfortunately, it was the picture of her deceased on the ground. I'm still dealing with that."
The Orange County Sheriff's Office originally said Thursday morning that the victim was a man dressed as a woman. They issued an update Thursday evening.
Investigators have not said how Garden was killed, only that there was trauma to her body.
"It's sad we can't live our life just like anyone else without looking over our shoulder to make sure no one is going to hurt us because of who we are," Williams said, referring to living as a transgender woman. "It's also very hard being a trans in society. This world can be very cruel, and it can be very cruel to us trans girls."
The Orange County Sheriff's Office is asking anyone who may have been in the area near the Reserve at Buchanan Lake Apartments to call Crimeline at 1-800-432-8477.
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